Studies comparing the clinical outcomes between vancomycin intermittent infusion (InI) and continuous infusion (CoI) treated patients are generally underpowered. Moreover, due to large differences in the design and efficacy end points in these studies, a meta-analysis of the currently available data is not feasible. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to compare the exposure variability and target attainment with vancomycin during InI and CoI.
Patients and methods:
A literature search was performed, and clinical studies reporting on vancomycin-treated populations were selected. After exclusion of reviews, case reports, and articles not published in the English language, 505 articles were screened for reported data on vancomycin serum concentrations. A total of 34 studies were included in the review. Relative standard deviations reported in the included studies were assessed, and vancomycin serum concentration variability and target attainment were compared between vancomycin InI and CoI.
The variability in serum concentrations was significantly larger for InI than for CoI (relative standard deviations 46.5% and 32.1%, respectively; P = 0.001). Notably, variability appeared to be independent of the study population or design. Studies directly comparing target attainment between both modes of administration denoted higher and faster target attainment with CoI in all instances.
In conclusion, CoI was associated with lower variabilities in the serum concentration and favorable target attainment rates compared with InI. These findings are important because vancomycin exposure is considered a major predictor of the patients' clinical outcomes. However, the role of lower serum concentration variability and higher target attainment rates in achieving better clinical outcomes needs to be evaluated in patients treated with vancomycin CoI compared with InI.