Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Antibiotics in Critically Ill Patients: Current Practice and Future Perspectives With a Focus on Clinical Outcome

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PURPOSE: Early initiation of antibiotics is essential for ameliorating infections in critically ill patients. The correct dosage of antibiotics is imperative to ensure their adequate exposure. Critically ill patients have altered pharmacokinetic parameters and are often infected by less susceptible microorganisms. Differences in drug disposition are not considered with standard doses of antibiotics. This can lead to suboptimal antibiotic exposure in critically ill patients. To overcome this problem of suboptimal dosing, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is a strategy commonly used to support individualized dosing of antibiotics. It is routinely used for vancomycin and aminoglycosides in clinical practice. In recent years, it has become apparent that TDM may also be used in other antibiotics. METHODS: This review summarizes the evidence for TDM of antibiotics in critically ill patients, focuses on clinical outcomes, and summarizes possibilities for optimized TDM in the future. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: After reviewing the literature, we can conclude that general TDM implementation is advised for glycopeptides and aminoglycosides, as evidence of the relationship between TDM and clinical outcome is present. For antibiotics, such as beta-lactams, fluoroquinolones, and linezolid, it seems rational to perform TDM in specific patient cases. TDM involving other antibiotics is supported by individual cases, specifically to decrease toxicity. When focusing on future possibilities to improve TDM of antibiotics in critically ill patients, implementation of model-informed precision dosing should be investigated because it can potentially streamline the TDM process. The logistics of TDM, such as turnaround time and available equipment, are challenging but may be overcome by rapid bioanalytical techniques or real-time monitoring of drug concentrations through biosensors in the future. Education, clinical information on targets, and clinical outcome studies are other important factors that facilitate TDM implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

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