Objective—To compare concentrations of gentamicin in serum and bronchial lavage fluid after IV and aerosol administration of gentamicin to horses.
Animals—9 healthy adult horses.
Procedure—Gentamicin was administered by aerosolization (20 ml of gentamicin solution [50 mg/ml]) and IV injection (6.6 mg of gentamicin/kg of body weight) to each horse, with a minimum of 2 weeks between treatments. Samples of pulmonary epithelial lining fluid were collected by small volume (30 ml) bronchial lavage 0.5, 4, 8, and 24 hours after gentamicin administration. Serum samples were obtained at the same times. All samples were analyzed for gentamicin concentration, and cytologic examinations were performed on aliquots of bronchial lavage fluid collected at 0.5, 8, and 24 hours.
Results—Gentamicin concentrations in bronchial lavage fluid were significantly greater 0.5, 4, and 8 hours after aerosol administration, whereas serum concentrations were significantly less at all times after aerosol administration, compared with IV administration. Neutrophil counts in bronchial lavage fluid increased from 0.5 to 24 hours, regardless of route of gentamicin administration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Aerosol administration of gentamicin to healthy horses resulted in gentamicin concentrations in bronchial fluid that were significantly greater than those obtained after IV administration. A mild inflammatory cell response was associated with aerosol delivery of gentamicin and repeated bronchial lavage. Aerosol administration of gentamicin may have clinical use in the treatment of bacterial bronchopneumonia in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1185–1190)