Blassmann U, Roehr AC, Frey OR, Vetter-Kerkhoff C, Thon N, Hope W, Briegel J, Huge V.; Crit Care. 2016 Oct 24;20(1):343.

BACKGROUND: Ventriculitis is a complication of temporary intraventricular drains. The limited penetration of meropenem into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is well known. However, ventricular CSF pharmacokinetic data in patients with ventriculitis are lacking. The aim of this study was to evaluate meropenem pharmacokinetics in the serum and CSF of neurocritical care patients with proven or suspected ventriculitis.

METHODS: We conducted an observational pharmacokinetic study of neurocritical care patients with proven or suspected ventriculitis receiving meropenem. Multiple blood and CSF samples were taken and were described using nonparametric pharmacokinetic modelling with Pmetrics.

RESULTS: In total, 21 patients (median age 52 years, median weight 76 kg) were included. The median (range) of peak and trough concentrations in serum were 20.16 (4.40-69.00) mg/L and 2.54 (0.00-31.40) mg/L, respectively. The corresponding peak and trough concentrations in CSF were 1.20 (0.00-6.20) mg/L and 1.28 (0.00-4.10) mg/L, respectively, with a median CSF/serum ratio (range) of 0.09 (0.03-0.16). Median creatinine clearance ranged from 60.7 to 217.6 ml/minute (median 122.5 ml/minute). A three-compartment linear population pharmacokinetic model was most appropriate. No covariate relationships could be supported for any of the model parameters. Meropenem demonstrated poor penetration into CSF, with a median CSF/serum ratio of 9 % and high interindividual pharmacokinetic variability.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of higher-than-standard doses of meropenem and therapeutic drug monitoring in both serum and CSF should be considered to individualise meropenem dosing in neurocritical care patients with ventriculitis.

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