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Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia

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The objective of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics of cefuroxime in children undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) for cardiovascular surgery.


A prospective study.


A tertiary pediatric teaching hospital.


Infants and children undergoing CPB were enrolled in the study.


An initial dose (mean, 24.2 ± 1.6 mg/kg) of cefuroxime was administered before surgical incision, and a second dose (mean, 14.4 ± 7.9 mg/kg) was administered in the CPB prime solution. Serial blood samples were obtained before, during, and after the CPB process. Samples were shipped on dry ice to the analytic laboratory and concentrations determined by a validated high-performance liquid chromatography method. A 2-compartment pharmacokinetic model was fitted to the data using maximum a priori–Bayesian estimation, with weight as a covariate. Monte Carlo simulations of a single-dose (25 mg/kg pre-CPB) approach and a 2-dose (25 mg/kg pre- and 12.5-mg/kg prime solution dose) approach were performed.

Measurements and Main Results

Fifteen subjects (9 males/6 females) were enrolled in the study, with median (range) age and weight of 11 (3-34) months and 9.5 (4.5-15.4) kg, respectively. The median (range) duration of CPB was 136 (71-243) minutes. Median and range cefuroxime pharmacokinetic parameters were as follows: maximum concentration (Cmax) dose, 1: 328 (150-512) μg/mL; systemic clearance, 0.050 (0.041-0.058) L/h/kg; steady-state volume of distribution, 0.213 (0.081-0.423) L/kg; volume of distribution in the central compartment, 0.081 (0.046-0.162) L/kg; and elimination half-life, 3.76 (1.03-6.81) hours. The median 8-hour post–dose-simulated cefuroxime concentrations were 26.5 and 16.0 mg/L for the 2-dose and single-dose regimens, respectively.


Manufacturers recommend that pediatric doses of cefuroxime (25-50 mg/kg) can be used in infants and children undergoing CPB to maintain adequate serum concentrations for surgical-site infection prophylaxis. A second intraoperative dose, administered through the CPB circuit, provides no additional prophylactic advantage.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, VOL 25, ISSUE 3, 2011 DOI# 10.1053/j.jvca.2010.07.022.