A Quasi-Experiment To Study the Impact of Vancomycin Area under the Concentration-Time Curve-Guided Dosing on Vancomycin-Associated Nephrotoxicity

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Nov 22;61(12):e01293-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01293-17. Print 2017 Dec.


Evidence suggests that maintenance of vancomycin trough concentrations at between 15 and 20 mg/liter, as currently recommended, is frequently unnecessary to achieve the daily area under the concentration-time curve (AUC24) target of ≥400 mg · h/liter. Many patients with trough concentrations in this range have AUC24 values in excess of the therapeutic threshold and within the exposure range associated with nephrotoxicity. On the basis of this, the Detroit Medical Center switched from trough concentration-guided dosing to AUC-guided dosing to minimize potentially unnecessary vancomycin exposure. The primary objective of this analysis was to assess the impact of this intervention on vancomycin-associated nephrotoxicity in a single-center, retrospective quasi-experiment of hospitalized adult patients receiving intravenous vancomycin from 2014 to 2015. The primary analysis compared the incidence of nephrotoxicity between patients monitored by assessment of the AUC24 and those monitored by assessment of the trough concentration. Multivariable logistic and Cox proportional hazards regression examined the independent association between the monitoring strategy and nephrotoxicity. Secondary analysis compared vancomycin exposures (total daily dose, AUC, and trough concentrations) between monitoring strategies. Overall, 1,280 patients were included in the analysis. After adjusting for severity of illness, comorbidity, duration of vancomycin therapy, and concomitant receipt of nephrotoxins, AUC-guided dosing was independently associated with lower nephrotoxicity by both logistic regression (odds ratio, 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34 to 0.80; P = 0.003) and Cox proportional hazards regression (hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.78; P = 0.002). AUC-guided dosing was associated with lower total daily vancomycin doses, AUC values, and trough concentrations. Vancomycin AUC-guided dosing was associated with reduced nephrotoxicity, which appeared to be a result of reduced vancomycin exposure.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; therapeutic drug monitoring; trough concentration.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / chemically induced
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vancomycin / adverse effects*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin