Comparative pharmacokinetics of the three echinocandins in ICU patients

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2020 Oct 1;75(10):2969-2976. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkaa265.


Background: We conducted a prospective study in ICU patients of two tertiary hospitals in order to determine basic pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters, associated variation and target attainment rates for anidulafungin, micafungin and caspofungin.

Methods: Serum samples from patients treated for 7 days with the standard doses of anidulafungin (N = 13), micafungin (N = 14) or caspofungin (N = 7) were analysed by validated chromatographic methods. PK parameters determined with non-compartmental analysis were correlated with demographic, laboratory and disease severity characteristics. The percentages of patients attaining drug exposures described in the summary of product characteristics (SmPC) documents and preclinical PK/PD targets for stasis were estimated.

Results: The median (range) AUC24 was 101.46 (54.95-274.15) mg·h/L for anidulafungin, 79.35 (28.00-149.30) mg·h/L for micafungin and 48.46 (19.44-103.69) mg·h/L for caspofungin. The interindividual variability of anidulafungin, micafungin and caspofungin AUC24 was 46%-58%, attributed mainly to variability in volume of distribution (V), clearance (CL) and in both V and CL, respectively. Significant correlations were found between anidulafungin AUC24 and BMI (rs = -0.670, P = 0.012) and liver enzymes (rs = 0.572-0.665, P = 0.013-0.041) and between caspofungin Cmin and transaminase levels (rs = -0.775 to -0.786, P = 0.036-0.041). Less than 50% of our patients attained the corresponding SmPC median AUC24s and none of the patients attained the PK/PD targets for Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis.

Conclusions: Anidulafungin exposure in ICU patients was comparable with that reported in non-ICU patients and in healthy volunteers. Micafungin exposure was comparable to that of other patients but ∼30% lower than that in healthy volunteers, whereas caspofungin exposure was rather low (∼50% lower than in healthy volunteers). Larger interindividual variability (50%-60%) was recorded in ICU patients compared with other groups for all three echinocandins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anidulafungin
  • Antifungal Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Echinocandins*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lipopeptides
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Echinocandins
  • Lipopeptides
  • Anidulafungin