PENETRATION OF CEFOTAXIME INTO INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS REMOVED FROM PATIENTS UNDERGOING DISCECTOMY
Basrah Journal of Surgery,
Volume 25, Issue 1, Pages 3-9
AbstractThe intervertebral disc is an avascular tissue, and penetration of antibiotics occurs by passive
diffusion. Cefotaxime penetration has not been well studied. The aim is to investigate the
penetration of cefotaxime into the intervertebral disc removed from patients undergoing
Twenty-six patients undergoing discectomy were recruited for this study. They were given one
gram of cefotaxime intravenously as a prophylactic antibiotic. Cefotaxime was extracted from
nucleus pulposus and serum and analyzed using an HPLC method with cefuroxime axetil as
Cefotaxime penetrated into all the 26 samples of nucleus pulposus resulting in a mean
concentration of 0.66±0.13 µg/gm. The mean serum concentration at time of disc removal was
13.61±3.54 µg/ml. The concentration in 16 samples were below the minimum inhibitory
concentration against Staph. aureus with an average of 0.27±0.03 µg/g. There is a statistically
significant correlation between time after intravenous cefotaxime administration and its
concentration in the nucleus pulposus. The greater increase is in the third hour after
administration. Factors like age, body weight, gender, number of associated diseases and
surgical history did not seem to affect nucleus pulposus cefotaxime concentration.
In conclusion, cefotaxime can penetrate into the nucleus pulposus but its concentration is
relatively low. This concentration has a strong positive correlation with time after cefotaxime
intravenous administration. Cefotaxime, therefore, needs to be given at least two hours before
disc removal, with re-dosing immediately before operation to maintain high serum concentration.
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