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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Jan 25;62(2). pii: e02164-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02164-17. Print 2018 Feb.

Concentrations of Cefuroxime in Brain Tissue of Neurointensive Care Patients.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Diagnostics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Department of Neurosurgery, Kepler Universitätsklinikum, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria.
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Effective concentrations of antibiotics in brain tissue are essential for antimicrobial therapy of brain infections. However, data concerning cerebral penetration properties of antibiotics for treatment or prophylaxis of central nervous system infections are rare. Six patients suffering subarachnoid hemorrhage and requiring cerebral microdialysis for neurochemical monitoring were included in this study. Free interstitial concentrations of cefuroxime after intravenous application of 1,500 mg were measured by microdialysis in brain tissue, as well as in plasma at steady-state (n = 6) or after single-dose administration (n = 1). At steady state, free area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h (AUC0-24) values of 389.0 ± 210.3 mg/liter·h and 131.4 ± 72.8 mg/liter·h were achieved for plasma and brain, respectively, resulting in a brain tissue penetration ratio (AUC0-24 brain/AUC0-24 free plasma) of 0.33 ± 0.1. Plasma and brain tissue concentrations at individual time points correlated well (R = 0.59, P = 0.001). At steady-state time over MIC (t>MIC) values of >40% of dosing interval were achieved up to an MIC of 16 mg/liter for plasma and 4 mg/liter for brain tissue. Although MIC90 values could not be achieved in brain tissue for relevant bacteria, current dosing strategies of cefuroxime might be sufficient to treat pathogens with MIC values up to 4 mg/liter. The activity of cefuroxime in brain tissue might be overestimated when relying exclusively on plasma levels. Although currently insufficient data after single dose administration exist, lower brain-plasma ratios observed after the first dose might warrant a loading dose for treatment and perioperative prophylaxis.


brain; cefuroxime; central nervous system infections; drug tissue concentration; in vivo pharmacokinetics; microdialysis

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