Tissue pharmacokinetics of cefazolin in patients with lower limb infections

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Nov;57(11):5679-83. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01348-13. Epub 2013 Sep 16.


Cefazolin, a first-generation cephalosporin with activity against methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus and streptococci, is often used to treat lower limb infections caused by these pathogens. Antimicrobial penetration is often limited in these patients due to compromised vasculature. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the exposure profile of cefazolin in serum and tissue in patients with lower limb infections. An in vivo microdialysis catheter was inserted into the tissue near the margin of the wound and constantly perfused with lactated Ringer's solution. Steady-state serum and tissue samples were simultaneously collected over a dosing interval. Serum protein binding was also assessed. Serum concentrations were analyzed by noncompartmental analysis. Tissue concentrations were corrected for percent in vivo recovery by using the retrodialysis technique. Seven patients with a mean weight of 95.45 ± 18.51 kg and a mean age of 54 ± 19 years were enrolled. Six patients received 1 g every 8 h, and one patient received 2 g every 24 h due to acute kidney injury. The free area under the curve from 0 to 8 h (fAUC0-8) values for serum and wound were 48.0 ± 18.66 and 56.35 ± 41.17 μg · h/ml, respectively, for the patients receiving 1 g every 8 h. The fAUC0-24 values for serum and wound were 1,326.1 and 253.9 μg · h/ml, respectively, for the single patient receiving 2 g every 24 h. The mean tissue penetration ratio (tissue/serum fAUC ratio) was 1.06. These data suggest that the amount of time that free-drug concentrations remain above the MIC (fT>MIC) for cefazolin in wound tissue is adequate to treat patients with lower limb infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Catheters
  • Cefazolin / blood
  • Cefazolin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cefazolin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lower Extremity / injuries
  • Lower Extremity / microbiology
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microdialysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Permeability
  • Protein Binding
  • Staphylococcal Infections / blood
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / blood
  • Wounds, Penetrating / drug therapy*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Blood Proteins
  • Cefazolin