Objectives: To assess the serum and lower respiratory tract tobramycin concentrations (C(T)) produced by a single dose of tobramycin for inhalation delivered by a nebulizer and a compressor in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) 6 months to 6 years of age.
Study design: We performed a dose escalation study of serum C(T) measured before and 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 hours after a single dose of inhaled tobramycin, either 180 mg (10 patients) or 300 mg (19 patients). In a separate group of 12 patients, epithelial lining fluid (ELF) C(T) was measured by bronchoalveolar lavage 30 to 45 minutes after a 300-mg dose.
Results: A 180-mg dose of inhaled tobramycin produced a mean peak serum C(T) of 0.5 microg/mL (SD 0.4; range, <0.2 to 1.4 microg/mL). A 300-mg dose produced a mean peak serum C(T) of 0.6 microg/mL (SD 0.5; range, <0.2 to 1.2 microg/mL). These peak values are well below the accepted maximum trough concentration with parenteral dosing (2 microg/mL). The target ELF C(T) was 20 microg/mL, 10-fold greater than the minimal inhibitory concentration for most Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from very young patients with CF (2 microg/mL). Mean ELF C(T) was 90 microg/mL (SD 54; range, 16 to 204 microg/mL) and exceeded the target concentration in 11 patients.
Conclusion: In patients with CF ages 6 months to 6 years, a single 300-mg dose of inhaled tobramycin appears to produce safe peak serum concentrations and drug concentrations in the bactericidal range in the lower respiratory tract.