Nephrotoxins contribute to 20%–40% of acute kidney injury (AKI) cases in the intensive care unit (ICU). The combination of piperacillin-tazobactam (PTZ) and vancomycin (VAN) has been identified as nephrotoxic, but existing studies focus on extended durations of therapy rather than the brief empiric courses often used in the ICU. The current study was performed to compare the risk of AKI with a short course of PTZ/VAN to with the risk associated with other antipseudomonal β-lactam/VAN combinations.
The study included a retrospective cohort of 3299 ICU patients who received ≥24 but ≤72 hours of an antipseudomonal β-lactam/VAN combination: PTZ/VAN, cefepime (CEF)/VAN, or meropenem (MER)/VAN. The risk of developing stage 2 or 3 AKI was compared between antibiotic groups with multivariable logistic regression adjusted for relevant confounders. We also compared the risk of persistent kidney dysfunction, dialysis dependence, or death at 60 days between groups.
The overall incidence of stage 2 or 3 AKI was 9%. Brief exposure to PTZ/VAN did not confer a greater risk of stage 2 or 3 AKI after adjustment for relevant confounders (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval] for PTZ/VAN vs CEF/VAN, 1.11 [.85–1.45]; PTZ/VAN vs MER/VAN, 1.04 [.71–1.42]). No significant differences were noted between groups at 60-day follow-up in the outcomes of persistent kidney dysfunction (P = .08), new dialysis dependence (P = .15), or death (P = .09).
Short courses of PTZ/VAN were not associated with a greater risk of short- or 60-day adverse renal outcomes than other empiric broad-spectrum combinations.