Background: little is known on the clinical implications of vancomycin trough levels among older patients. Objective: to evaluate the association between vancomycin levels and outcomes among older versus younger patients. Design: retrospective study. Subjects: patients aged 18-64 and ≥65 years treated with vancomycin for documented methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Methods: we compared the effectiveness and toxicity of vancomycin according to trough levels in older versus younger patients. Subgroup analysis of patients with glomerular filtration rate (GFR) > 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 was performed. Results: we included 181 patients aged ≥65 years and 104 younger patients. Mean age in the older group was 76.9 ± 8 years versus 50.9 ± 12.4 in the younger group. Vancomycin trough levels and 24-hours area under the curve to minimal inhibitory concentrations (AUC/MIC) were significantly higher in older patients who were also significantly more likely to achieve trough levels of ≥15 mg/l within 4 days, (98/181 (54.1%) vs. 38/104 (36.5%) in younger patients, P = 0.004). Results were similar among patients with GFR > 60. Thirty-day mortality was significantly higher in older (74/181, 40.9% vs. 13/104, 12.5%, respectively, P < 0.001). There was no association between vancomycin trough levels and mortality among older patients. No significant differences were demonstrated in clinical or microbiological success or nephrotoxicity. Conclusions: applying uniform dosing recommendations across age groups among adults with MRSA infections results in higher vancomycin levels and AUC/MIC in older versus younger patients. Yet, mortality rates remain higher among older adults. Prospective studies are needed to define the optimal approach for using this drug in older patients.
- methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- older people
- trough levels