Amphotericin B lipid formulations in critically ill patients on continuous veno-venous haemofiltration

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2003 Mar;51(3):671-81. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkg139.


Objectives: The pharmacokinetics of lipid-formulated amphotericin B (AMB), and of AMB that has dissociated from its lipid moiety and bound to lipoproteins in plasma, were separately determined in critically ill patients.

Patients and methods: Eleven patients required continuous veno-venous haemofiltration (CVVH). Five of them were treated with liposomal AMB (AmBisome) and seven with AMB colloidal dispersion (Amphocil). Six of the critically ill were not undergoing CVVH (three of them treated with liposomal AMB and three with AMB colloidal dispersion).

Results: Significant amounts of AMB are liberated from liposomes or colloidal dispersion during circulation in plasma, where pharmacokinetics mimic that of AMB deoxycholate. Elimination of the remaining lipid-formulated fraction is different and differentially affected by CVVH. Plasma levels of lipid-formulated AMB were significantly higher in patients treated with liposomal AMB than in those treated with AMB colloidal dispersion; clearance of liposomal AMB is enhanced by haemofiltration, whereas elimination of AMB colloidal dispersion is not significantly affected.

Conclusions: The pharmacokinetics of AMB that has been liberated from its lipid moiety is similar under treatment with either liposomal AMB or AMB colloidal dispersion. Since no significant influence of haemofiltration on the pharmacokinetics of liberated AMB has been found, a standard dose of lipid-formulated AMB can be recommended for patients on haemofiltration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage*
  • Amphotericin B / blood*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Hemofiltration / methods*
  • Hemofiltration / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphatidylcholines / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / blood*
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / administration & dosage*
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / blood*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • Amphotericin B