Test Catalog

Test ID: RAMIK    
Amikacin, Random, Serum

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Monitoring adequacy of blood concentration during amikacin therapy

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Amikacin is an aminoglycoside used to treat severe blood infections by susceptible strains of gram-negative bacteria. Aminoglycosides induce bacterial death by irreversibly binding bacterial ribosomes to inhibit protein synthesis. Amikacin is minimally absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and thus can been used orally to reduce intestinal flora.


Peak serum concentrations are seen 30 minutes after intravenous infusion, or 60 minutes after intramuscular administration. Serum half-lives in patients with normal renal function are generally 2 to 3 hours. Excretion of aminoglycosides is principally renal, and all aminoglycosides may accumulate in the kidney at 50 to 100 times the serum concentration.


Toxicity can present as dizziness, vertigo, or, if severe, ataxia and a Meniere disease-like syndrome. Auditory toxicity may be manifested by simple tinnitus or any degree of hearing loss, which may be temporary or permanent, and can extend to total irreversible deafness. Nephrotoxicity is most frequently manifested by transient proteinuria or azotemia, which may occasionally be severe. Aminoglycosides also are associated with variable degrees of neuromuscular blockade leading to apnea.

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Peak: 20.0-35.0 mcg/mL

Toxic peak: >40.0 mcg/mL

Trough: <8.0 mcg/mL

Toxic trough:>10.0 mcg/mL

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

For conventional (nonpulse) dosing protocols, clinical effects may not be achieved if the peak serum concentration is <20.0 mcg/mL. Toxicity may occur if, for prolonged periods of time, peak serum concentrations are maintained >35.0 mcg/mL, or trough concentrations are maintained at >10.0 mcg/mL.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Aminoglycosides are excreted primarily by glomerular filtration, thus, the serum half-life will be prolonged and significant accumulation will occur in patients with impaired renal function.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Wilson JW, Estes LL: Mayo Clinic Antimicrobial Therapy Quick Guide, 2008

2. Hammett-Stabler CA, Johns T: Laboratory Guidelines for Monitoring of Antimicrobial Drugs. National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. Clin Chem. 1998 May;44(5):1129-1140

3. Gonzalez LS III, Spencer JP: Aminoglcosides: a practical review. Am Fam Physician 1998 Nov 15;58(8):1811-1820