Vancomycin prophylaxis in paediatric patients following cardiac surgery: A retrospective evaluation of trough levels and associated variables

Leonardo Vallesi, Tiziana Fragasso, Simona Benegni, Giulia Insom, Luca Di Chiara, Tiziana Corsetti, Zaccaria Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Therapeutic drug monitoring during vancomycin administration is recommended. However, little information is available in case of paediatric vancomycin prophylaxis. The aim of this study was to analyse vancomycin trough levels on postoperative day (POD) 2 and 3 after paediatric cardio-surgery to assess the clinical predictors and outcomes associated with vancomycin concentrations and to evaluate whether adjustments are effective to target optimal levels. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted in paediatric patients receiving vancomycin prophylaxis after elective cardio-surgery. Adjustments were made if levels between 20 and 30 (halving subsequent dose) or Ë30 mg/l (dose withheld) were found. RESULTS: Vancomycin doses of the 100 examined children (3.7-6.4 years) were 12.8 (2.5), 9.4 (5.4) and 9.7 (4.5) mg/kg, on POD1, 2 and 3, respectively (P = 0.0001). The 200 vancomycin trough levels decreased from 16.9 (11.4) on POD2 to 14.6 (8.5) on POD3 (P = 0.003). Overall, 66 troughs were sub-target, 68 reached the optimal target and 66 were supra-target. On POD2 and 3, 32 and 27 dose adjustments were required, leading to a reduced number of patients with supra-target troughs. Neonates showed a higher number of supra-target levels with respect to non-neonatal patients on both POD2 (P = 0.003) and 3 (P = 0.0001). At multivariable regression analysis, vancomycin levels showed independent association with weight and creatinine levels on both POD2 and 3. Vancomycin levels correlated with ventilation days (P = 0.31, P = 0.039), but not with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus positivity (P = 0.69). CONCLUSIONS: Vancomycin prophylaxis in paediatric cardio-surgery requires strict therapeutic drug monitoring and several dosage adjustments. Supra-target troughs are frequent and neonatal age, weight and creatinine levels significantly affect vancomycin concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-673
Number of pages7
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Paediatric cardiac surgery
  • Prophylaxis
  • Vancomycin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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