Impact of Real-Time Therapeutic Drug Monitoring on the Prescription of Antibiotics in Burn Patients Requiring Admission to the Intensive Care Unit

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Feb 23;62(3):e01818-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01818-17. Print 2018 Mar.


As pharmacokinetics after burn trauma are difficult to predict, we conducted a 3-year prospective, monocentric, randomized, controlled trial to determine the extent of under- and overdosing of antibiotics and further evaluate the impact of systematic therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) with same-day real-time dose adaptation to reach and maintain antibiotic concentrations within the therapeutic range. Forty-five consecutive burn patients treated with antibiotics were prospectively screened. Forty fulfilled the inclusion criteria; after one patient refused to participate and one withdrew consent, 19 were randomly assigned to an intervention group (patients with real-time antibiotic concentration determination and subsequent adaptations) and 19 were randomly assigned to a standard-of-care group (patients with antibiotic administration at the physician's discretion without real-time TDM). Seventy-three infection episodes were analyzed. Before the intervention, only 46/82 (56%) initial trough concentrations fell within the range. There was no difference between groups in the initial trough concentrations (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.39 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.81 to 2.39], P = 0.227) or the time to reach the target. However, thanks to real-time dose adjustments, the trough concentrations of the intervention group remained more within the predefined range (57/77 [74.0%] versus 48/85 [56.5%]; adjusted odd ratio [OR] = 2.34 [95% CI, 1.17 to 4.81], P = 0.018), more days were spent within the target range (193 days/297 days on antibiotics [65.0%] versus 171 days/311 days in antibiotics [55.0%]; adjusted OR = 1.64 [95% CI, 1.16 to 2.32], P = 0.005), and fewer results were below the target trough concentrations (25/118 [21.2%] versus 44/126 [34.9%]; adjusted OR = 0.47 [95% CI, 0.26 to 0.87], P = 0.015). No difference in infection outcomes was observed between the study groups. Systematic TDM with same-day real-time dose adaptation was effective in reaching and maintaining therapeutic antibiotic concentrations in infected burn patients, which prevented both over- and underdosing. A larger multicentric study is needed to further evaluate the impact of this strategy on infection outcomes and the emergence of antibiotic resistance during long-term burn treatment. (This study was registered with the platform under registration no. NCT01965340 on 27 September 2013.).

Keywords: antibiotics; burn patients; pharmacokinetics; therapeutic drug monitoring.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents

Associated data