Higher versus Lower Dose of Cefotetan or Cefoxitin for Surgical Prophylaxis in Patients Weighing One Hundred Twenty Kilograms or More

Mary Banoub, Melanie S. Curless, Janessa M. Smith, Andrew S. Jarrell, Sara Cosgrove, Clare Rock, Edina Avdic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Clinical practice guidelines recommend a 2-g dose of cefotetan and cefoxitin for surgical prophylaxis. Pharmacokinetic data suggest benefit from higher cefotetan and cefoxitin dosing in obese patients. However, clinical studies examining higher dosing strategies in this at-risk population are lacking. The purpose of this study was to determine whether 3 g of cefotetan or cefoxitin administered pre-operatively for patients who weigh 120 kg or more is associated with a lower proportion of surgical site infection (SSI) compared with 2 g. Patients and Methods: Medical records of patients weighing 120 kg or more who had received cefotetan or cefoxitin (2 or 3 g) as surgical prophylaxis for intra-abdominal procedures between July 2012 and August 2015 were reviewed for the development of an SSI (primary outcome), study drug-related adverse events, and re-admissions attributed to SSIs (secondary outcomes). Relative risk calculations were performed for analysis of the primary and secondary outcomes. Results: One-hundred seventy-five procedures in 169 patients were included in the study. Cefotetan was used in 81% (141/175) of procedures. Three grams of cefotetan or cefoxitin was used in 20% (35/175) of procedures. The median body mass index (BMI) in both dosing groups was 42 kg/m2 and patients who received 3 g more often weighed more than 130 kg (relative risk [RR] 1.36, 1.01-1.76; p = 0.04). Surgical site infections occurred in 20.7% within the 2-g group and 22.9% in the 3-g group (RR 1.10, 0.55-2.20; p = 0.78). There was no difference in the number of study drug-related adverse effects in the 3-g compared with the 2-g group. Thirty-day re-admissions because of SSI also did not differ between the 2-g and 3-g groups (7.9% vs. 17.1%, respectively; p = 0.11). Conclusion: This small retrospective study did not find a difference in SSI rates between 3-g and 2-g surgical prophylaxis dosing for patients 120 kg or more with a median BMI >40 kg/m2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Infections
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • cefotetan
  • cefoxitin
  • dose/dosing
  • obese/obesity
  • surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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