Azithromycin to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia in Ureaplasma-infected preterm infants: Pharmacokinetics, safety, microbial response, and clinical outcomes with a 20-milligram-per-kilogram single intravenous dose

Academic Article


  • Ureaplasma respiratory tract colonization is associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants. Previously, we demonstrated that a single intravenous (i.v.) dose of azithromycin (10 mg/kg of body weight) is safe but inadequate to eradicate Ureaplasma spp. in preterm infants. We performed a nonrandomized, single-arm open-label study of the pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety of intravenous 20-mg/kg single-dose azithromycin in 13 mechanically ventilated neonates with a gestational age between 24 weeks 0 days and 28 weeks 6 days. Pharmacokinetic data from 25 neonates (12 dosed with 10 mg/kg i.v. and 13 dosed with 20 mg/kg i.v.) were analyzed using a population modeling approach. Using a two-compartment model with allometric scaling of parameters on body weight (WT), the population PK parameter estimates were as follows: clearance, 0.21 liter/h×WT(kg)0.75 [WT(kg) 0.75 indicates that clearance was allometrically scaled on body weight (in kilograms) with a fixed exponent of 0.75]; intercompartmental clearance, 2.1 liters/h×WT(kg)0.75; central volume of distribution (V), 1.97 liters×WT (kg); and peripheral V, 17.9 liters×WT (kg). There was no evidence of departure from dose proportionality in azithromycin exposure over the tested dose range. The calculated area under the concentration-time curve over 24 h in the steady state divided by the MIC90 (AUC24/MIC90) for the single dose of azithromycin (20 mg/kg) was 7.5 h. Simulations suggest that 20 mg/kg for 3 days will maintain azithromycin concentrations of>MIC 50 of 1 μ /ml for this group of Ureaplasma isolates for>96 h after the first dose. Azithromycin was well tolerated with no drug-related adverse events. One of seven (14%) Ureaplasma-positive subjects and three of six (50%) Ureaplasma-negative subjects developed physiologic BPD. Ureaplasma was eradicated in all treated Ureaplasma- positive subjects. Simulations suggest that a multiple-dose regimen may be efficacious for microbial clearance, but the effect on BPD remains to be determined. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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    Author List

  • Viscardi RM; Othman AA; Hassan HE; Eddington ND; Abebe E; Terrin ML; Kaufman DA; Waites KB
  • Start Page

  • 2127
  • End Page

  • 2133
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 5