Pharmacokinetics of high-dose tigecycline in critically ill patients with severe infections

Gennaro De Pascale, Lucia Lisi, Gabriella Maria Pia Ciotti, Maria Sole Vallecoccia, Salvatore Lucio Cutuli, Laura Cascarano, Camilla Gelormini, Giuseppe Bello, Luca Montini, Simone Carelli, Valentina Di Gravio, Mario Tumbarello, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Pierluigi Navarra, Massimo Antonelli

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Background: In critically ill patients, the use of high tigecycline dosages (HD TGC) (200 mg/day) has been recently increasing but few pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) data are available. We designed a prospective observational study to describe the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) profile of HD TGC in a cohort of critically ill patients with severe infections. Results: This was a single centre, prospective, observational study that was conducted in the 20-bed mixed ICU of a 1500-bed teaching hospital in Rome, Italy. In all patients admitted to the ICU between 2015 and 2018, who received TGC (200 mg loading dose, then 100 mg q12) for the treatment of documented infections, serial blood samples were collected to measure steady-state TGC concentrations. Moreover, epithelial lining fluid (ELF) concentrations were determined in patients with nosocomial pneumonia. Amongst the 32 non-obese patients included, 11 had a treatment failure, whilst the other 21 subjects successfully eradicated the infection. There were no between-group differences in terms of demographic aspects and main comorbidities. In nosocomial pneumonia, for a target AUC0-24/MIC of 4.5, 75% of the patients would be successfully treated in presence of 0.5 mcg/mL MIC value and all the patients obtained the PK target with MIC ≤ 0.12 mcg/mL. In intra-abdominal infections (IAI), for a target AUC0-24/MIC of 6.96, at least 50% of the patients would be adequately treated against bacteria with MIC ≤ 0.5 mcg/mL. Finally, in skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTI), for a target AUC0-24/MIC of 17.9 only 25% of the patients obtained the PK target at MIC values of 0.5 mcg/mL and less than 10% were adequately treated against germs with MIC value ≥ 1 mcg/mL. HD TGC showed a relevant pulmonary penetration with a median and IQR ELF/plasma ratio (%) of 152.9 [73.5–386.8]. Conclusions: The use of HD TGC is associated with satisfactory plasmatic and pulmonary concentrations for the treatment of severe infections due to fully susceptible bacteria (MIC < 0.5 mcg/mL). Even higher dosages and combination strategies may be suggested in presence of difficult to treat pathogens, especially in case of SSTI and IAI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalAnnals of Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Critically ill patients
  • Epithelial lining fluid
  • High dose
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Severe infections
  • Tigecycline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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