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Systematic review of high-dose amikacin regimens for the treatment of Gram-negative infections based on EUCAST dosing recommendations
  1. Kevin J Frost1,
  2. Ryan A Hamilton2,3,
  3. Stephen Hughes4,
  4. Conor Jamieson5,
  5. Paul Rafferty6,
  6. Oliver Troise4,
  7. Abi Jenkins7
  1. 1 Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Keighley, UK
  2. 2 Pharmacy, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  3. 3 Pharmacy, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering, UK
  4. 4 Pharmacy, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5 NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands, Birmingham, UK
  6. 6 Pharmacy, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Portadown, UK
  7. 7 University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Kevin J Frost, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Keighley BD20 6TD, UK; kevin.frost{at}


Background Updated European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) amikacin breakpoints for Enterobacterales and Pseudomonas aeruginosa included revised dosing recommendations of 25–30 mg/kg to achieve key pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic parameters, higher than recommended in the British National Formulary. The objectives of this review were to identify clinical evidence for high-dose amikacin regimens and to determine drug exposures that are related to adverse events and toxicity.

Methods The literature search was conducted in October 2021 and updated in May 2022 using electronic databases for any study reporting adult participants treated with amikacin at doses ≥20 mg/kg/day. Reference lists of included papers were also screened for potential papers. Data were extracted for pharmacokinetic parameters and clinical outcomes, presented in a summary table and consolidated narratively. Meta-analysis was not possible. Each study was assessed for bias before, during and after the intervention using the ROBINS-I tool.

Results Nine studies (total 501 participants in 10 reports) were identified and included, eight of which were observational studies. Assessment of bias showed substantial flaws. Dosing regimens ranged from 25 to 30 mg/kg/day. Six studies adjusted the dose in obesity when participants had a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2. Target peak serum concentrations ranged from 60 mg/L to 80 mg/L and 59.6–81.8% of patients achieved these targets, but there was no information on clinical outcomes. Two studies reported the impact of high-dose amikacin on renal function. No studies reporting auditory or vestibular toxicity were identified.

Conclusion All included papers were limited by a significant risk of bias, while methodological and reporting heterogeneity made drawing conclusions challenging. Lack of information on the impact on renal function or ototoxicity means high-dose regimens should be used cautiously in older people. There is a need for a consensus guideline for high-dose amikacin to be written.

Trial registration number PROSPERO (CRD42021250022).

  • therapeutic drug monitoring
  • pharmacokinetics
  • clinical medicine
  • evidence-based medicine
  • safety
  • microbiology
  • pharmacology

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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