Linezolid Trough Concentrations Correlate with Mitochondrial Toxicity-Related Adverse Events in the Treatment of Chronic Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

EBioMedicine. 2015 Oct 9;2(11):1627-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.09.051. eCollection 2015 Nov.


Long-term linezolid use is limited by mitochondrial toxicity-associated adverse events (AEs). Within a prospective, randomized controlled trial of linezolid to treat chronic extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, we serially monitored the translational competence of mitochondria isolated from peripheral blood of participants by determining the cytochrome c oxidase/citrate synthase activity ratio. We compared this ratio with AEs associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Linezolid trough concentrations were determined for 38 participants at both 600 mg and 300 mg doses. Those on 600 mg had a significantly higher risk of AE than those on 300 mg (HR 3·10, 95% CI 1·23-7 · 86). Mean mitochondrial function levels were significantly higher in patients before starting linezolid compared to their concentrations on 300 mg (P = 0·004) or 600 mg (P < 0·0001). Increasing mean linezolid trough concentrations were associated with lower mitochondrial function levels (Spearman's ρ = - 0.48; P = 0.005). Mitochondrial toxicity risk increased with increasing linezolid trough concentrations, with all patients with mean linezolid trough > 2 μg/ml developing an AE related to mitochondrial toxicity, whether on 300 mg or 600 mg. Therapeutic drug monitoring may be useful to prevent the development of mitochondrial toxicity associated with long-term linezolid use.

Keywords: Adverse events; Drug resistant; Linezolid; Mitochondrial toxicity; Therapeutic drug monitoring; Tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antitubercular Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Genes, Mitochondrial
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Humans
  • Linezolid / administration & dosage*
  • Linezolid / adverse effects*
  • Linezolid / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Linezolid