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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aminoglycosides in gynecologic infections.

Aminoglycosides have always had a major role in the treatment of gynecologic infections. This therapeutic emphasis has been based upon the bactericidal activity of the aminoglycosides against gram-negative aerobes. This group of organisms is important to the gynecologist because of their frequent isolation from soft tissue, urinary sites, and the bloodstream in women with nosocomial or community-acquired pelvic infections. In the past decade, there has been increasing clinical awareness of the multi-bacterial nature of these soft tissue pelvic infections. A major therapeutic change directed against gram-negative anaerobes has been the substitution of more effective agents like clindamycin or metronidazole for the penicillin arm of the older penicillin-aminoglycoside combination. The majority of intra-abdominal and pelvic infections treated by gynecologists occur in patients who are younger and usually healthier than those with similar infections who are treated by general surgeons. Consequently, in many instances, single drug therapy with a cephalosporin (usually cefoxitin) is adequate, if combined with surgical drainage when indicated. However, there is an increasingly larger group of patients who are significantly older and who may also have pelvic malignancies. In addition, they may be immunocompromised. Infections in this group mandate the use of the most effective antimicrobial agents that will cover the broadest spectrum. When anaerobic bacteria are involved, either clindamycin or metronidazole are acceptable choices; for aerobic gram-negative organisms, an aminoglycoside should be used. Recent studies suggest that amikacin may be the best choice, since it is associated with a low level of bacterial resistance and has been shown to reduce levels of resistance to other aminoglycosides. Amikacin has become the "gold standard" for comparisons with any new cephalosporins or penicillins. New developments will modify the use of aminoglycosides in the future. The expansion of oncology care with immune-system-modifying chemotherapy and radiation will expose patients to the dangers of gram-negative sepsis. Aminoglycosides are a logical part of the initial therapeutic regimen for these septic patients. On the other hand, the majority of gynecologic patients with pelvic infections are young and healthy. Recent studies have demonstrated that as many as 40 percent of these women will be underdosed by standard treatment regimens based upon ideal body weight. This means that patients receiving aminoglycosides will require monitoring of peak and trough levels to insure therapeutic drug levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Aminoglycosides in gynecologic infections. Ledger, W.J. Am. J. Med. (1986) [Pubmed]
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