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J Bone Jt Infect. 2018 Apr 27;3(2):82-86. doi: 10.7150/jbji.20279. eCollection 2018.

Long-term Conventionally Dosed Vancomycin Therapy In Patients With Orthopaedic Implant-related Infections Seems As Effective And Safe As Long-term Penicillin Or Clindamycin Therapy. A Retrospective Cohort Study Of 103 Patients.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, OLVG Amsterdam (currently in HOH, Oranjestad Aruba).
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, JointResearch OLVG Amsterdam.
Department of Medical Microbiology, OLVG Amsterdam.


Objectives: Antimicrobial therapy is one of the cornerstones of orthopaedic implant-related infections (OIRI) treatment. Infections with Gram-positive bacteria are often treated with vancomycin, penicillin or clindamycin. A recent IDSA guideline suggests increasing the dose of vancomycin to increase the trough vancomycin target serum concentrations. This is deemed necessary because of an observed decrease in vancomycin susceptibility among Gram-positive bacteria. However, elevated vancomycin concentrations are correlated with the risk of nephrotoxicity, especially with prolonged therapy. Compared to most countries, rates of resistance against antibiotics among bacteria in the Netherlands are lower for currently available antibiotics, therefore lower target concentrations of vancomycin are probably efficacious for the treatment of infections. In this study we evaluated the efficacy and safety of long-term conventionally dosed vancomycin therapy, as an initial therapy for OIRI, and compared this with long-term penicillin and clindamycin therapy, as initial therapy, in patients with Gram-positive orthopaedic implant-related infections. Methods: A retrospective, observational study was conducted in 103 adult patients treated for OIRI, with vancomycin, penicillin or clindamycin for at least 10 days. The target trough serum concentration of vancomycin was 10-15 mg/l. Results: 74% of our patients were treated successfully with vancomycin, as initial therapy, (no reinfection within 1 year) versus 55% of our patients treated with either an antibiotic of the penicillin class (mostly flucloxacillin) or clindamycin (p=0.08), as initial therapy. For patients treated with vancomycin we observed a serum creatinine increase of 6 μmol/l, for patients treated with either an antibiotic of the penicillin class or clindamycin the serum creatinine increase was 4 μmol/l (p=0.395). Conclusions: In our population of patients with OIRI long-term treatment with conventionally dosed vancomycin, as initial therapy, was not significantly less effective and safe as long-term treatment with an antibiotic of the penicillin class or clindamycin, as initial therapy.


Gram-positive infections; Long term antimicrobial therapy; Nephrotoxicity; Orthopaedic implant-related infections; Vancomycin

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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