Introduction: Early sepsis results in pharmacokinetic (PK) changes due to physiologic alterations. PK changes can lead to suboptimal drug target attainment, risking inadequate coverage from antibiotics like ceftriaxone. Little is known about how ceftriaxone PK and target attainment quantitatively change over time in patients with sepsis or the association between target attainment and outcomes in critically ill children and young adults. Methods: A retrospective analysis of a prospective study was conducted in a single-center pediatric intensive care unit. Septic patients given at least one ceftriaxone dose (commonly as 50 mg/kg every 12 h) and who had blood obtained in both the first 48 h of therapy (early) and afterwards (late) were included. Normalized clearance and central volume were estimated and compared in both sepsis phases. We evaluated target attainment, defined as concentrations above 1× or 4× the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for 100% of dosing intervals, and investigated the association between target attainment and clinical outcomes. Results: Fifty-five septic patients (median age: 7.5 years) were included. Normalized clearance and central volume were similar in both phases (6.18 ± 1.48 L/h/70 kg early vs. 6.10 ± 1.61 L/h/70 kg late, p = 0.60; 26.6 [IQR 22.3, 31.3] L/70 kg early vs. 24.5 [IQR 22.0, 29.4] L/70 kg late, p = 0.18). Individual percent differences in normalized clearance and central volume between sepsis phases ranged from −39% to 276% and −51% to 212% (reference, late sepsis), respectively. Fewer patients attained the 1× MIC target in late sepsis (82% late vs. 96% early, p = 0.013), which was associated with transition to once daily dosing, typically done due to transfer from the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to a lower acuity unit. Failure to attain either target in late sepsis was associated with antibiotic broadening. Conclusion: Ceftriaxone PK parameters were similar between early and late sepsis, but there were large individual differences. Fewer patients attained MIC targets in late sepsis and all who did not attain the less stringent target received once daily dosing during this period. The failure to attain targets in late sepsis was associated with antibiotic broadening and could be an area for antibiotic stewardship intervention.
- critical care
- target attainment