Vancomycin dosage requirements among pediatric intensive care unit patients with normal renal function

J Crit Care. 2000 Mar;15(1):1-4. doi: 10.1053/jcrc.2000.0150001.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine a vancomycin dosage regimen among pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients with normal renal function resulting in desired peak and trough serum concentration and to determine the predictability of vancomycin peak concentrations based on reported trough concentrations.

Materials and methods: The medical records of all PICU patients who received vancomycin over a 12-month period were identified through a hospital computer search and were obtained from the hospital's Department of Medical Records. Demographic and laboratory data as well as the patient's vancomycin dosing history were recorded. Patients who lacked appropriately timed vancomycin peak and trough concentrations or who exhibited renal dysfunction were excluded from the study population. The optimal vancomycin dose and the predictability of peak concentrations based on trough concentrations were assessed.

Results: A total of 135 patients were identified as having received vancomycin therapy during their PICU hospitalization between June 1997 and June 1998. Fifty-nine patients were excluded due to renal dysfunction or inappropriate vancomycin concentrations resulting in 76 patients representing our study population. The initial mean dose of vancomycin was 47 mg/kg/day resulting in a mean peak and trough serum concentration of 19 and 6 microg/mL, respectively. A mean of 2.2 (range, 1 to 5) and 2.1 (range, 1 to 5) peak and trough serum concentrations were reported for each patient, respectively. A mean of 1.1 (range, 0 to 4) dosing changes per patient was noted resulting in a final mean dose of 60 mg/kg/day corresponding to a mean peak and trough serum concentration of 26 and 8 microg/mL, respectively. A vancomycin trough concentration >5 microg/mL was highly predictive for a corresponding peak concentration >20 microg/mL (P > .0001). Eighty percent of the trough concentrations <5 microg/mL were associated with peak concentrations <20 microg/mL, whereas 81% of trough concentrations >5 microg/mL were associated with corresponding peak concentrations >20 microg/mL.

Conclusions: PICU patients required higher doses of vancomycin than are typically prescribed to achieve conventionally accepted peak and trough vancomycin serum concentrations. In the absence of renal impairment, we recommend an initial dosage regimen of 60 mg/kg/day divided every 8 hours. Vancomycin trough concentrations are highly predictive of corresponding peak concentrations and therefore may negate the need to obtain routine peak concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Sepsis / physiopathology
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Vancomycin / blood
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin