Research Article

Monitoring aminoglycoside use in patients with severely impaired renal function.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 12 August 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:470
  1. P Noone,
  2. D F Beale,
  3. S S Pollock,
  4. M R Perera,
  5. I D Amirak,
  6. O N Fernando,
  7. J F Moorhead


    Twenty patients with severely impaired renal function, 17 of wnom had recently transplanted kidneys, were treated with aminoglycosides for severe infections acquired in hospital. Serum aminoglycoside concentrations were closely monitored and dosages adjusted individually to obtain peak and trough concentrations that ensured adequate treatment while avoiding toxicity. Causative organisms were susceptible to treatment in 21 out of 26 episodes of infection (81%), and 12 of the 17 patients (71%) in whom organisms were isolated were cured. Nephrotoxicity attributable to aminoglycosides alone was not observed during the 35 courses of treatment. Ototoxicity occurred in only one patient, who had excessively high serum concentrations of amikacin. Serum aminoglycoside concentrations were directly affected by carbenicillin and flucytosine. The concurrent administration of cephradine and cephalexin with gentamicin may have produced nephrotoxicity. We conclude that aminoglycosides, when carefully monitored, are effective and safe in patients with severely impaired renal function.