Gaggl M, Pate V, Sturmer T, Kshirsagar AV, Layton JB. The comparative risk of acute kidney injury of vancomycin relative to other common antibiotics. Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 14;10(1):17282. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73687-9.


The glycopeptide antibiotic vancomycin is a mainstay in the treatment of Gram-positive infection. While its association with acute kidney injury (AKI) has waxed and waned, recent data suggest nephrotoxicity, even as mono-therapy. Our study aimed to evaluate the 2-week risk of AKI after at least 3 days of intravenous vancomycin mono-therapy initiated within 5 days of hospitalization compared to other intravenous antibiotics used for similar indications. We used a new user-active comparator study design and identified patients with a first hospitalization during which they received vancomycin or comparator, from commercial claims based in the United States. We estimated incidence rates, hazard ratios using adjusted cox-regression models, and standardized mortality/morbidity ratio weighted cox-regression models. In the 32,997 patients vancomycin was used in 17% of patients and 129 cases of AKI were observed. Overall incidence of AKI was 9.3 (95% CI 0.78-1.22) per 100 person-years. The adjusted hazard ratio for vancomycin versus all other comparators was 0.74 (95% CI 0.45-1.21). Separate models for respective comparators resulted in hazard ratios below the null, except for vancomycin vs. cefazolin. Intravenous vancomycin mono-therapy does not increase the risk of AKI compared to other intravenous antibiotics used for similar indication in this cohort of hospitalized patients.

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