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Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 2772-4328
ISSN (Online): 2772-4336

Research Article

Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry to Monitor Unbound and Total Ceftriaxone in Serum of Critically Ill Patients

Author(s): Sjoerd Meenks*, Jos le Noble, Norbert Foudraine, Frank de Vries and Paddy Janssen

Volume 16, Issue 4, 2021

Published on: 28 December, 2020

Page: [341 - 349] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1574884715666201228115150

Price: $65


Background: Ceftriaxone is recommended for empiric antimicrobial therapy in patients with sepsis. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) guided dose optimisation could elucidate pharmacokinetic variabilities, improving treatment efficacy. However, detailed data on Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) for unbound ceftriaxone quantification in serum are scarce.

Objective: The authors aimed to develop a reliable UPLC-MS/MS method for serum ceftriaxone quantification and exhibit its application potential in routine hospital settings.

Methods: In this observational, single centre study, UPLC-MS/MS method validation included specificity, carry-over, linearity, repeatability, intermediate precision, accuracy, the limit of quantification, and plasma protein binding. Unbound and total ceftriaxone were quantified in the serum of 5 critically ill patients. Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) target attainment calculations were performed for both unbound and total ceftriaxone. The PK/PD target for unbound ceftriaxone in serum was set at 4 times the non-species related minimum inhibitory concentration breakpoint of 1 mg/L for at least 60% of the dosing interval.

Results: The UPLC-MS/MS method revealed acceptable limits for clinical samples, with coefficients of variation < 15.0% for concentrations between 0.2 – 400.0 mg/L. Ceftriaxone eluted at 1.94 min and ceftazidime, as internal standard, eluted at 1.42 min. Patients demonstrated a median unbound ceftriaxone fraction of 29.1% (IQR: 15.2 – 52.2). Day 1 of ceftriaxone treatment presented a median PK/PD target attainment of 100.0% (IQR: 81.1 – 100.0) for unbound ceftriaxone in serum, while for calculations based on total concentrations, this figure was 23.9% (IQR: 10.5 – 80.6).

Conclusion: The described UPLC-MS/MS method enables reliable and rapid ceftriaxone quantification in the serum of critically ill patients. Method feasibility was exhibited for TDM purposes in routine clinical practice.

Keywords: Ceftriaxone, unbound, monitoring, mass spectrometry, critically ill, albumin.

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