Renal safety of a single dose of gentamicin in patients with sepsis in the emergency department

M. Cobussen*, M.B. Haeseker, J. Stoffers, V.H.M. Wanrooij, P.H.M. Savelkoul, P.M. Stassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: To determine the effect of a single dose of gentamicin on the incidence and persistence of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with sepsis in the emergency department (ED).

Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with sepsis in the ED in three hospitals. Local antibiotic guidelines recommended a single dose of gentamicin as part of empirical therapy in selected patients in one hospital, whereas the other two hospitals did not. Multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the effect of gentamicin and other potential risk factors on the incidence and persistence of AKI after admission. AKI was defined according to the KDIGO (Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes) criteria.

Results: Of 1573 patients, 571 (32.9%) received a single dose of gentamicin. At admission, 181 (31.7%) of 571 of the gentamicin-treated and 228 (22.8%) of 1002 of the noneg-ntamicin-treated patients had AKI (p < 0.001). After admission, AKI occurred in 64 (12.0%) of 571 patients who received gentamicin and in 82 (8.9%) of 1002 people in the control group (p 0.06). Multivariate analysis showed that shock (odds ratio (OR), 2.72; 95% CI, 1.31-5.67), diabetes mellitus (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.001-2.23) and higher baseline (i.e. before admission) serum creatinine levels (OR, 1.007; 95% CI, 1.005-1.009) were associated with the development of AKI after admission, but not receipt of gentamicin (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.89-1.86). Persistent AKI was rare in both the group that received gentamicin (16/260, 6.2%) and the group that did not (15/454, 3.3%, p 0.09).

Conclusions: With regard to renal function, a single dose of gentamicin in patients with sepsis in the ED is safe. The development of AKI after admission was associated with shock, diabetes mellitus and higher baseline creatinine level. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-723
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Emergency department
  • Gentamicin
  • Nephrotoxicity
  • Sepsis
  • RISK

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