An institution's tobramycin pharmacokinetics (PK) database was reviewed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of empiric tobramycin dosing and monitoring strategies used in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The relationship between patient age and tobramycin dosing needed to achieve the area under the curve (AUC) goal was investigated.


Retrospective chart review was performed for patients who received tobramycin during a CF exacerbation from 2009 to 2019 who received PK monitoring by pediatric pharmacists. Tobramycin dosing needed to achieve an AUC of 100 mg·hr/L was calculated for each patient. Serum creatinine and concomitant nephrotoxin use were collected as surrogate nephrotoxicity endpoints to evaluate safety.


Goal AUC (100 ± 15 mg·hr/L) was achieved based on initial or repeat PK calculations in 43.5% (95% CI, 37.7–49.3) of 85 unique patients across 326 encounters. Patients with calculated recommended doses of 9.5 to 11.9 mg/kg every 24 hours empirically achieved goal AUC in 77% (78/101) of encounters. The odds of achieving goal AUC were 56% higher for children aged 10 vs 5 years (OR = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.04–2.34; p = 0.033) and 32% higher for children aged 15 vs 10 years (OR = 1.32; 95% CI, 1.07–1.61; p = 0.008). Overall rates of acute kidney injury and concomitant nephrotoxin use were 10.8% (95% CI, 6.2–15.5) and 80.7% (95% CI, 74.3–87.1), respectively.


Desired AUC was achieved by 43.5% of pediatric patients with CF using tobramycin 10 mg/kg every 24 hours. Older patient age was associated with higher initial AUC attainment and fewer dose modifications. Younger children may require higher weight-based dosing to meet AUC goals.

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