Serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of linezolid in neurosurgical patients

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Dec;50(12):3971-6. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00051-06. Epub 2006 Sep 18.


Linezolid is a new antimicrobial agent effective against drug-resistant gram-positive pathogens commonly responsible for central nervous system (CNS) infections in neurosurgical patients hospitalized in intensive care units. In order to study the penetration of this antimicrobial into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of such patients, the disposition of linezolid in serum and CSF was studied in 14 neurosurgical patients given linezolid at 600 mg twice daily (1-h intravenous infusion) for the treatment of CNS infections caused by gram-positive pathogens or for prophylactic chemotherapy. Serum and CSF linezolid steady-state concentrations were analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography, and the concentration-time profiles obtained were analyzed to estimate pharmacokinetic parameters. The mean +/- standard deviation (SD) linezolid maximum and minimum measured concentrations were 18.6 +/- 9.6 microg/ml and 5.6 +/- 5.0 microg/ml, respectively, in serum and 10.8 +/- 5.7 microg/ml and 6.1 +/- 4.2 microg/ml, respectively, in CSF. The mean +/- SD areas under the concentration-time curves (AUCs) were 128.7 +/- 83.9 microg x h/ml for serum and 101.6 +/- 59.6 microg x h/ml for CSF, with a mean penetration ratio for the AUC for CSF to the AUC for serum of 0.66. The mean elimination half-life of linezolid in CSF was longer than that in serum (19.1 +/- 19.0 h and 6.5 +/- 3.6 h, respectively). The serum and CSF linezolid concentrations exceeded the pharmacodynamic breakpoint of 4 microg/ml for susceptible target pathogens for the entire dosing interval in the majority of patients. These findings suggest that linezolid may achieve adequate concentrations in the CSF of patients requiring antibiotics for the management or prophylaxis of CNS infections caused by gram-positive pathogens.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / blood*
  • Acetamides / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / blood*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Bacterial Infections / blood*
  • Bacterial Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / surgery*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Linezolid
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Oxazolidinones / blood*
  • Oxazolidinones / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Acetamides
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oxazolidinones
  • Linezolid