Gentamicin penetration into normal rabbit nucleus pulposus

Bradford L. Currier, Kresimir Banovac, Frank J. Eismont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Study Design. Radioactively labeled gentamicin was administered to 24 rabbits to assess the concentration of antibiotic in the nucleus pulposus. Objectives. The purpose of the study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of gentamicin penetration into normal rabbit nucleus pulposus. Summary of Background Data. Disc space infection is a complication of spinal surgery that can be prevented by prophylactic antibiotics. Gentamicin can be used in conjunction with other antibiotics as a prophylactic agent. One previous study demonstrated that a similar antibiotic, tobramycin, penetrates the disc, but no data have been reported on the pharmacokinetics of disc penetration. Methods. Twenty-four rabbits were given an intravenous injection of gentamicin labeled with iodine 125. Four rabbits were killed at hourly intervals 1 to 6 hours after injection. Specimens of nucleus pulposus, blood, whole liver, and saline-perfused liver were obtained and prepared. The radioactivity in the specimens was measured. Results. The gentamicin concentration in the nucleus pulposus peaked at 2 hours and remained at this level for the duration of the experiment. Twenty percent of the gentamicin recovered from the nucleus pulposus was tissue bound. Conclusions. Gentamicin concentration in the rabbit nucleus pulposus does not peak until 2 hours after an intravenous bolus of drug. If gentamicin penetrates human nucleus pulposus in a similar fashion, this study could have implications for the timing of administration of this agent for prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2614-2618
Number of pages5
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • antibioti
  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • gentamicin
  • nucleus pulposus
  • penetration
  • pharmacokinetics
  • radioisotope assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Gentamicin penetration into normal rabbit nucleus pulposus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this