We Underdose Antibiotics in Patients on CRRT

Semin Dial. 2016 Jul;29(4):278-80. doi: 10.1111/sdi.12496. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Appropriate antibiotic dosing in critically ill, infected, patients receiving continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is crucial to improve patient outcomes. Severe sepsis and septic shock result in changes in pharmacokinetic parameters, including increased volume of distribution, hypoalbuminemia, and changes in renal and nonrenal clearances. The lack of CRRT standardization, nonrecognition of how CRRT variability affects antibiotic removal, fear of antibiotic toxicity, and limited drug dosing resources all contribute to suboptimal antibiotic therapy. Even when antibiotic CRRT pharmacokinetic studies are available, they are often based on old CRRT methodologies that do not exist in contemporary CRRT practice, resulting in unhelpful/inaccurate dosing recommendations. Application of these older doses in Monte Carlo simulation studies reveals that many of the recommended dosing regimens will never attain pharmacodynamic targets. In this review, using cefepime as an example, we illustrate whether clinicians are likely to achieve pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets when the recommended dosing regimens are prescribed in this patient population. We encourage clinicians to aggressively dose antibiotics with large loading dose and higher maintenance doses to reach the targets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Critical Illness
  • Humans
  • Nephrology / methods*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Sepsis / prevention & control
  • Shock, Septic / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents