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Am J Med. 1987 Dec;83(6):1091-7.

Relationship of serum antibiotic concentrations to nephrotoxicity in cancer patients receiving concurrent aminoglycoside and vancomycin therapy.

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Department of Pharmacy, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, New York 14263.


Methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci have become increasingly responsible for febrile episodes in cancer patients, often necessitating the addition of vancomycin to an aminoglycoside-containing broad-spectrum antibiotic regimen. A total of 229 courses of antibiotic therapy in 229 patients were evaluated for nephrotoxicity associated with the administration of an aminoglycoside and/or vancomycin. The incidence of nephrotoxicity observed in patients administered an aminoglycoside (Group A) was 18 percent; vancomycin (Group B) 15 percent; and an aminoglycoside concurrently with vancomycin (Group C) 15 percent. The following pharmacokinetic/dosing factors were significantly associated with increased nephrotoxicity in the groups: baseline serum creatinine level, mean daily dose during the first three days of therapy (Group B), and elevated serum trough aminoglycoside or vancomycin concentrations (2 micrograms/ml or more or 10 micrograms/ml or more, respectively). No cumulative nephrotoxicity was demonstrated with the concurrent administration of vancomycin and an aminoglycoside. A higher incidence of nephrotoxicity was seen in Group C (42 percent) and Group B (27 percent) patients, in whom trough serum vancomycin concentrations were 10 micrograms/ml or more.

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