Objective To compare the in vitro elution characteristics of amikacin and cefazolin from polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) alone and in combination. Study Design A prospective, controlled, experimental study. Methods Three aliquots of 6 g sterile PMMA were measured and to them added (1) 750 mg amikacin; (2) 1050 mg cefazolin; and (3) 750 mg amikacin and 1050 mg cefazolin. Ten beads of each antimicrobial/PMMA combination were placed in 5 mL phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at pH 7.4 and room temperature with constant agitation. PBS was sampled at 15 time points between 1 hour and 30 days. Amikacin concentrations were determined by fluorescence polarization immunoassay and cefazolin concentrations by high-performance liquid chromatography. Results Amikacin and cefazolin eluted at concentrations greater than 8 and 4 times, respectively, above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for susceptible bacteria over 30 days. Co-elution of the antibiotics resulted in a greater rate and proportion of antibiotic eluted. Concentrations of amikacin and cefazolin in the co-eluted fluid were not maintained sufficiently above the MIC for selected bacteria over 30 days. Conclusions PMMA beads of only amikacin or cefazolin-eluted concentrations greater than the MIC for selected bacteria for 30 days. Co-elution of the antibiotics at the selected doses resulted in a significantly shorter duration of elution and may not be effective for treatment of wound infection. Clinical Relevance Co-elution of amikacin and cefazolin from PMMA at the selected doses cannot be recommended for sustained treatment of infection.
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