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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 358217, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Pharmacokinetic Properties and Systemic Safety of Vancomycin-Impregnated Cancellous Bone Grafts in the Treatment of Spondylodiscitis

Klinik für Orthopädie und Orthopädische Chirurgie, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Kirrbergerstr. 1, 66421 Homburg, Germany

Received 16 April 2013; Revised 2 July 2013; Accepted 5 July 2013

Academic Editor: Peng Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Konstantinos Anagnostakos and Katrin Koch. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the local pharmacokinetic properties and the systemic safety of vancomycin-impregnated cancellous bone grafts in the treatment of spondylodiscitis. Between 2010 and 2012, 8 patients (5 females, 3 males, mean age 68.75 y.) were treated with this method. Local vancomycin concentrations reached median values of 179 µg/mL (maximum 365 µg/mL) on day 1, decreasing to 98 µg/mL on day 3. The urine vancomycin concentrations showed similar pharmacokinetic properties as those locally determined. On day 1, median values were at 28.05 µg/mL (maximum 287 µg/mL). All serum vancomycin concentrations were in all cases and on every day below <2 µg/mL. The median serum creatinine values were preoperatively 0.87 mg/dL, followed by 0.625 mg/dL, 0.705 mg/dL, and 0.835 mg/dL on day 7, 14, and 28, respectively. No cases of ototoxicity could be observed. At a mean follow-up of 16.5 [4–36] months no cases of reinfections or persistent infections could be seen. In conclusion, the implantation of vancomycin-loaded cancellous bone grafts is an effective option in the treatment of spondylodiscitis with a high infection eradication rate and no risk of any systemic toxicity. The pharmacokinetic properties can be easily monitored locally, in the urine and the serum.