Can physicochemical properties of antimicrobials be used to predict their pharmacokinetics during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation? Illustrative data from ovine models

Thumbnail Image
File version
Version of Record (VoR)
Shekar, Kiran
Roberts, Jason A
Barnett, Adrian G
Diab, Sara
Wallis, Steven C
Fung, Yoke L
Fraser, John F
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
File type(s)

Introduction: Ex vivo experiments in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) circuits have identified octanol-water partition coefficient (logP, a marker of lipophilicity) and protein binding (PB) as key drug factors affecting pharmacokinetics (PK) during ECMO. Using ovine models, in this study we investigated whether these drug properties can be used to predict PK alterations of antimicrobial drugs during ECMO. Methods: Single-dose PK sampling was performed in healthy sheep (HS, n=7), healthy sheep on ECMO (E24H, n=7) and sheep with smoke inhalation acute lung injury on ECMO (SE24H, n=6). The sheep received eight study antimicrobials (ceftriaxone, gentamicin, meropenem, vancomycin, doripenem, ciprofloxacin, fluconazole, caspofungin) that exhibit varying degrees of logP and PB. Plasma drug concentrations were determined using validated chromatographic techniques. PK data obtained from a non-compartmental analysis were used in a linear regression model to predict PK parameters based on logP and PB. Results: We found statistically significant differences in pH, haemodynamics, fluid balance and plasma proteins between the E24H and SE24H groups (p<0.001). logP had a strong positive linear relationship with steady-state volume of distribution (Vss) in both the E24H and SE24H groups (p<0.001) but not in the HS group (p=0.9) and no relationship with clearance (CL) in all study groups. Although we observed an increase in CL for highly PB drugs in ECMO sheep, PB exhibited a weaker negative linear relationship with both CL (HS, p=0.01; E24H, p<0.001; SE24H, p<0.001) and Vss (HS, p=0.01; E24H, p=0.004; SE24H, p =0.05) in the final model. Conclusions: Lipophilic antimicrobials are likely to have an increased Vss and decreased CL during ECMO. Protein-bound antimicrobial agents are likely to have reductions both in CL and Vss during ECMO. The strong relationship between lipophilicity and Vss seen in both the E24H and SE24H groups indicates circuit sequestration of lipophilic drugs. These findings highlight the importance of drug factors in predicting antimicrobial drug PK during ECMO and should be a consideration when performing and interpreting population PK studies.

Journal Title
Critical Care
Conference Title
Book Title
Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
© 2015 Shekar et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Rights Statement
Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)
Biomedical and clinical sciences
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Critical Care Medicine
General & Internal Medicine
Persistent link to this record
Shekar, K; Roberts, JA; Barnett, AG; Diab, S; Wallis, SC; Fung, YL; Fraser, JF, Can physicochemical properties of antimicrobials be used to predict their pharmacokinetics during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation? Illustrative data from ovine models, Critical Care, 2015, 19 (1), pp. 437