Drug combinations and impact of experimental conditions on relative recovery in in vitro microdialysis investigations.


Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Institute of Pharmacy, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Kelchstr. 31, 12169 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


The need for pharmacokinetic knowledge about antibiotics directly at the site of infection, typically the interstitial space fluid (ISF) of tissues, is gaining acceptance for effective and safe treatment. One option to acquire such data is the microdialysis technique employing a catheter with a semipermeable membrane inserted directly in the ISF. A prerequisite is catheter calibration, e.g. via retrodialysis, yielding a conversion factor from measured to true ISF concentrations, termed relative recovery. This value can be influenced by various factors. The present investigation assessed the impact of three of them on relative recovery using seven drugs: (I) drug combinations/order, (II) air in the microdialysis system, (III) flow rate changes inherent when using common in vivo microdialysis pumps. All experiments were performed in a standardised in vitro microdialysis system. (I) Relative recovery of single antibiotics (linezolid, meropenem, cefazolin, metronidazole, tigecycline) was determined in microdialysis and retrodialysis settings and compared with values using either antibiotic or antibiotic+analgesic (acetaminophen and metamizole) combinations or single drugs with reversed microdialysis order. For assessing these factors for lower relative recovery values (as in in vivo), these were mimicked by increasing the flow rate for linezolid. (II) For the impact of air, linezolid relative recovery of freshly carbonated solutions was compared to degassed ones in microdialysis and retrodialysis settings. For each condition in (I) and (II), summary statistics of relative recovery were calculated and for the impact of the factors a linear mixed-effect model developed. (III) From samples taken during an automatic flush sequence (15 μL/min) of an in vivo pump and afterwards switching to the flow rate of 1 and 2 μL/min for 120 min, the time necessary for relative recovery to reach equilibrium was determined. (I) High relative recovery values (flow rate 2 μL/min: ≥84%; flow rate 5 μL/min: ≥65%) were observed for all investigated single drugs. Intra- and intercatheter variability ranged from 0.3%-11% and 3%-25%, respectively. Based on these values and on the statistical model, the impact of drug combination versus single drug as well as of reversed order was small with changes in relative recovery of smaller equal 9%. (II) Compared to degassed solutions, relative recovery in carbonated solutions was 23% and 19% lower (relative reduction) in the microdialysis and retrodialysis setting, respectively, with increased intercatheter variability (up to 37%). (III) As expected, relative recovery increased after the flush sequence and was constant 10-15 min after the switch to the typical 1 and 2 μL/min flow rate. Given the intercatheter variability, combinations and the order of drugs showed minor but clinically negligible impact on relative recovery. In contrast, air in the microdialysis catheter/system caused falsely low and inconsistent relative recovery values and must be avoided when performing a trial. Also changes in flow rate at the end of pump flush sequence impacted relative recovery. Hence, a sufficient equilibration time of 10-15 min prior to sampling should be implemented in sampling protocols. In vitro microdialysis presents a highly valuable complementary platform to clinical microdialysis studies impacting the design, sampling schedule and data analysis of such trials to gain knowledge of target-site pharmacokinetics for contributing to better informed decisions in the individual patient/special populations in future.


Calibration,Drug combinations,In vitro,Influential factors,Microdialysis,Relative recovery,Target-site sampling,