Antimicrobial Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in critically ill adult patients -an international perspective on access, utilisation, and barriers

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2024 May 9:107192. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2024.107192. Online ahead of print.


Background: Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is an effective method for individualizing antimicrobial therapy in critically ill patients. The 2021 ADMIN-ICU survey studied a wide range of intensive care unit (ICU) clinicians worldwide to gain their perspectives on antimicrobial TDM. This paper reports the responses from this survey relating to TDM access, utilisation, barriers, and clinical value.

Methods: An online survey consisted of multiple-choice questions and 5-point Likert scales. The survey examined respondent's access to minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) results, drug assays and dosing software, as well as barriers to TDM.

Results: The survey included 538 clinicians from 409 hospitals in 45 countries, with 71% physicians and 29% pharmacists. Despite most respondents having access to assays, 21% and 26% of respondents lacked access to vancomycin and aminoglycosides, respectively. In lower-income countries, almost 40% reported no access. Delayed drug assay turnaround time was the most significant barrier to TDM, particularly in lower-income countries. Routine access to MIC results was unavailable for 41% of respondents, with 25% of lower-income country respondents having no access to MIC or susceptibility reports.

Conclusions: This global survey indicated that consistent TDM usage is hindered by assay access in some sites, and timeliness of assay results in others. Addressing barriers to TDM, particularly in low-income countries, should be a priority to ensure equitable access to affordable TDM.

Keywords: antimicrobial; barriers; intensive care units; survey; therapeutic drug monitoring.