While several tools are necessary to repair a car, the engineer knows exactly which instrument he has to utilize at different parts of the broken machine. Likewise, depending on the information we are interested in, we have to choose different tools to investigate and consecutively understand the multiple aspects that are involved in pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial agents in critically ill patients. Some techniques, like blood sampling, microdialysis or positrons emission tomography (PET) will allow for obtaining continues concentration time profiles while others like bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), biopsy or surgical tissue samples can only be used a limited number of times per subject. PET and methods based on tissue homogenization will deliver an average of the actual concentrations in intra – and extracellular compartments while investigations in isolated blood cells or microdialysis allow for more distinguished allocation of a concentration to a defined compartment. The present review aims at discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods used for assessing pharmacokinetics in critically ill patients with regard to specific aspects of pharmacokinetic research and further reviews data of selected antibiotics as examples for applications of the individual techniques.
Keywords: Critically ill, ICU, microdialysis, pharmacokinetics, PK, target site penetration, tissue drug concentration, Food and Drug Administration, SKIN BLISTER, MICRODIALYSIS, TISSUE BIOPSY, POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY, CEFPIROME, BRONCHOALVEOLAR LAVAGE