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Nebulized Colistin in Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia and Tracheobronchitis: Historical Background, Pharmacokinetics and Perspectives

  • zhu, yinggang
  • monsel, antoine
  • roberts, jason
  • pontikis, konstantinos
  • mimoz, olivier
  • rello, jordi
  • jieming, qu
  • rouby, jean-jacques
  • the, on of in behalf
Publication Date
May 27, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms9061154
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Clinical evidence suggests that nebulized colistimethate sodium (CMS) has benefits for treating lower respiratory tract infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (GNB). Colistin is positively charged, while CMS is negatively charged, and both have a high molecular mass and are hydrophilic. These physico-chemical characteristics impair crossing of the alveolo-capillary membrane but enable the disruption of the bacterial wall of GNB and the aggregation of the circulating lipopolysaccharide. Intravenous CMS is rapidly cleared by glomerular filtration and tubular excretion, and 20–25% is spontaneously hydrolyzed to colistin. Urine colistin is substantially reabsorbed by tubular cells and eliminated by biliary excretion. Colistin is a concentration-dependent antibiotic with post-antibiotic and inoculum effects. As CMS conversion to colistin is slower than its renal clearance, intravenous administration can lead to low plasma and lung colistin concentrations that risk treatment failure. Following nebulization of high doses, colistin (200,000 international units/24h) lung tissue concentrations are &gt / five times minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of GNB in regions with multiple foci of bronchopneumonia and in the range of MIC breakpoints in regions with confluent pneumonia. Future research should include: (1) experimental studies using lung microdialysis to assess the PK/PD in the interstitial fluid of the lung following nebulization of high doses of colistin / (2) superiority multicenter randomized controlled trials comparing nebulized and intravenous CMS in patients with pandrug-resistant GNB ventilator-associated pneumonia and ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis / (3) non-inferiority multicenter randomized controlled trials comparing nebulized CMS to intravenous new cephalosporines/ß-lactamase inhibitors in patients with extensive drug-resistant GNB ventilator-associated pneumonia and ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis.

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