Therapeutic drug monitoring of vancomycin in a morbidly obese patient

Scott Robert Penzak, Paul O. Gubbins, Keith A. Rodvold, Steve L. Hickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The authors describe the therapeutic drug monitoring of vancomycin in a man who is morbidly obese. Because serum vancomycin concentration (SVC) monitoring continues to be deemphasized, nomogram use will likely increase. However, vancomycin dosing nomograms have not been studied in patients who are morbidly obese. Furthermore, in nomograms that incorporate body weight, it is unclear whether ideal or total body weight (IBW and TBW, respectively) should be used to dose the morbidly obese. Therefore, the authors retrospectively evaluated four nomograms (Moellering, Matzke, Lake-Peterson, and Rodvold) and an individualized method in the simulated vancomycin dosing of their patient. Total body weight was more accurate than IBW in selecting a vancomycin dose when using the individualized method and in all nomograms except the Matzke nomogram. The Rodvold nomogram and the individualized method yielded the most appropriate doses. All nomograms suggested dosing intervals that were unacceptably short; the individualized method suggested an appropriately longer interval. Thus, if nomograms or the individualized method are used to empirically dose vancomycin, TBW - not IBW - should be used. Because these nomograms yielded inappropriately short dosing intervals in the patient, it is likely that patients who are morbidly obese represent a unique population in which at least one set of SVCs are necessary to select an appropriate dosing regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Obesity
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Vancomycin


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