DALE N. GERDING, M.D.; WENDELL H. HALL, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P.; ELIZABETH A. SCHIERL, B.S.
Thirty-six paired specimens of serum and ascitic fluid from 21 patients with peritonitis and ascites, most with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and alcoholic cirrhosis, were assayed for antibiotic content. Antibiotics assayed and number of determinations were gentamicin, 14; tobramycin, 7; ampicillin, 5; clindamycin, 3; penicillin G, 2; cephalothin, 2; chloramphenicol, 2; and cefazolin, 1. In 31 paired specimens the ascitic fluid antibiotic concentration was about one half or more of the simultaneous serum level and in 17 assays exceeded 90% of the serum level. All antibiotics studied penetrated ascitic fluid equally well. Clinical response to antibiotic therapy was good in 12 of 16 patients with culture-proven bacterial peritonitis. Antibiotic levels in ascitic fluid exceeded the minimal inhibitory concentration of the infecting organisms in all but one patient who responded. Direct intraperitoneal instillation of antibiotics does not appear to be necessary routinely; however, there may be an initial lag of several hours before antibiotic concentrations in ascites achieve therapeutic levels.
DALE N. GERDING, WENDELL H. HALL, ELIZABETH A. SCHIERL. Antibiotic Concentrations in Ascitic Fluid of Patients with Ascites and Bacterial Peritonitis. Ann Intern Med. 1977;86:708–713. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-86-6-708
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(6):708-713.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Infectious Disease.
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