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Cefazolin does not accelerate gastric emptying in the critically ill.

Author(s): Chapman M, Fraser R, de Beaux I, Creed S, Finnis M, Butler R, Cmielewski P, Zacharkis B, Davidson G

Affiliation(s): Intensive Care Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, SA 5000, Adelaide, Australia. mchapman@mail.rah.sa.gov.au

Publication date & source: 2003-07, Intensive Care Med., 29(7):1169-72. Epub 2003 Jun 12.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of intravenous cefazolin on gastric emptying measured by the C-13 octanoic acid breath test. DESIGN: Prospective, double-blind, cross-over, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. SETTING: Mixed multidisciplinary intensive care unit in a university hospital. PATIENTS: Fourteen critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients. INTERVENTIONS: After a 4-h fast patients received either 50 mg cefazolin or 20 ml saline over 20 min immediately prior to measurement of gastric emptying. The next day the study was repeated with the alternative therapy. MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Breath samples were analysed for the concentration of (13)CO2 by mass spectrometer, and the gastric emptying coefficient (GEC) and half-emptying time (t(50)) were calculated. Results are mean (standard deviation). Data were analysed with the paired t-test (saline vs cefazolin). Two patients were excluded for technical problems. Twelve patients remained (six male/six female), aged 57 (+/-16) years, with an APACHE II score of 20 (+/-8). Both GEC and t(50) were unchanged after administration of cefazolin compared with placebo (t(50) cefazolin, 138 (+/-54) vs saline 122 (+/-46) min, P=0.32; GEC cefazolin 3.27 (+/-0.83) vs saline 3.55 (+/-0.6), P=0.24). Two patients had abnormal t(50) after saline and five after cefazolin. There was no order effect of the study day. CONCLUSION: In mechanically ventilated patients, cefazolin had no effect on gastric emptying. These data do not support the use of low-dose cefazolin as a pro-kinetic agent in critically ill patients.

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