Contemporary β-lactam antibiotic dosing is debatable in severely ill patients, since the occurrence of pathophysiological changes in critical illness can result in great inter-individual variability. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is a commonly used dosing strategy to optimize exposure and thereby minimize toxicity and maximize the efficacy. Currently, TDM of β-lactam antibiotics is rarely performed, due to poor availability in clinical practice. We describe an ultrafast Hydrophilic-Interaction Chromatography (HILIC) based UPLC–MS/MS method for the determination of amoxicillin, benzylpenicillin, cefotaxime, cefuroxime, ceftazidime, flucloxacillin, imipenem, meropenem and piperacillin in human plasma. This method involves simple sample preparation steps and was comprehensively validated according to standard FDA guidelines. For all analytes, mean accuracy and precision values were within the acceptance value. The lower and upper limits of quantification were found to be sufficient to cover the therapeutic range for all antibiotics. Finally, the method was successfully applied in a large pharmacokinetic study performed in the intensive care setting, and the feasibility of the analytical procedure was demonstrated in routine clinical practice. To the best of our knowledge, we report here the first HILIC-based UPLC–MS/MS assay for the determination of β-lactam antibiotics in human plasma. This simple, sensitive and ultrafast assay requires small-volume samples and can easily be implemented in clinical laboratories to promote the TDM of β-lactam antibiotics.

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Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Department of Pharmacy

Abdulla, A., Bahmany, S., Wijma, R., van der Nagel, B., & Koch, B. (2017). Simultaneous determination of nine β-lactam antibiotics in human plasma by an ultrafast hydrophilic-interaction chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 1060, 138–143. doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2017.06.014