Determination of vancomycin trough level in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with acute community-acquired meningitis: a prospective study

J Infect. 2014 Nov;69(5):424-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jun 25.


Background: Penetration and concentration of vancomycin is still an elusive and complex issue particularly in Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). The aim of this study was to clarify the penetration of this antimicrobial agent in CSF during meningeal inflammation.

Methods: In a prospective study, adult patients, with clinical and CSF analysis compatible with acute meningitis, who received vancomycin (15 mg/kg loading and 30 mg/kg daily maintenance dose) with ceftriaxone (4 gr/daily) were enrolled. CSF analysis including vancomycin trough levels before the fourth maintenance dose and during the 8-10th days of treatment, and simultaneous serum levels were performed by High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Results: Twenty-seven patients (18 men, 9 women; mean age of 39.4 ± 14.7) were enrolled. The first serum trough level of vancomycin was 13.82 ± 1.28 mg/l. The mean of corresponding trough level in CSF was 11.2 ± 1.41 mg/l. The serum and CSF trough levels revealed positive linear correlation (r: 0.60) and was significant at the 0.01 level (P: 0.004). The penetration CSF/serum ratio was 0.811 ± 0.082 (coefficient of variation: 10.1%). The second trough levels of serum and CSF in (14 patients) vancomycin were 13.32 ± 1.02 and 10.64 ± 1.21, respectively. The serum and CSF trough levels revealed positive linear correlation (r: 0.71). The serum and CSF concentrations revealed no variation compared to the first trough levels.

Conclusion: Vancomycin has appropriate concentration in CSF during the treatment of meningitis and do not decrease along with the alleviation of meningeal inflammation in spite of concerns in this regard.

Keywords: Acute; Chromatography; Drug monitoring/methods; High pressure liquid; Human; Meningitis; Vancomycin; Vancomycin/administration/dosage; Vancomycin/pharmacokinetics; Vancomycin/therapeutic use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Community-Acquired Infections / blood
  • Community-Acquired Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / blood
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Vancomycin / blood*
  • Vancomycin / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin