Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study finds antibiotic vancomycin may trigger dangerously low platelet count

01.03.2007
The antibiotic vancomycin often used in intensive care units is considered the drug of choice for the treatment of staphylococci (staph) infections that are resistant to most other antibiotics. Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Blood Research Institute have linked vancomycin to an abnormal decrease in blood platelet count, a condition called thrombocytopenia. If accompanied by uncontrollable bleeding, thrombocytopenia can be fatal.

The study led by Annette Von Drygalski, M.D., third year internal medicine resident, and Richard H. Aster M.D., professor of medicine at the Medical College, and senior investigator at the Blood Research Institute, will appear in the March 1, 2007, edition of New England Journal of Medicine.

Patients suspected of having thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet count often associated with bleeding, can be tested for a special type of antibody to see if it is related to medications. For this study, the researchers obtained clinical information on 29 patients who tested positive for vancomycin-dependent platelet antibodies. The patients were seen at major U.S. hospitals.

"We found a close correlation between exposure to vancomycin, development of a vancomycin-dependent antibody, and the onset of severe thrombocytopenia accompanied by serious bleeding in most cases," Says Dr. Aster. "Three of the 29 cases described ended fatally. Serious bleeding appears to have contributed to these outcomes."

It is not widely recognized that vancomycin can cause thrombocytopenia. For that reason, the medication was continued in 15 of the 29 patients while other possible causes for the low platelet count were investigated, according to Dr. Aster. None of these patients had a rise in the platelet count until the vancomycin was discontinued and an alternative antibiotic started. The vancomycin was stopped early in the remaining 14 patients because it was suspected to be the cause of the thrombocytopenia. The platelet count of these patients rose to normal shortly thereafter.

In a separate study, the researchers found that 25 patients given vancomycin who did not develop thrombocytopenia did not develop antibodies.

"Vancomycin has been in widespread use for more than 25 years and can be a life-saving medication when used in the appropriate context," says Dr. Aster. Since only a small fraction of patients given vancomycin produce antibodies that cause thrombocytopenia, the findings should have no impact on the clinical use of vancomycin."

"Instead," he says, "clinicians administering vancomycin should be alert to the fact that it can cause severe immune thrombocytopenia and have their patient seen by a hematology consultant if they develop a low platelet count while under treatment with the drug. If there's a question, the physician should substitute another antibiotic for vancomycin for a few days to see if the platelet count improves."

Dr. Aster's team will continue to study patients with vancomycin-induced immune thrombocytopenia as they are encountered.

"The real lessons, though, will be learning more about how drugs such as vancomycin trigger the production of antibodies that destroy red and white blood cells in addition to platelets. We also hope to find out how the drugs cause this type of antibody to bind to blood cells and cause their destruction. A longer-term goal is to develop ways to identify environmental and genetic factors that predispose individuals to experience this type of drug hypersensitivity reaction," says Dr. Aster.

Toranj Marphetia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcw.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>