An experimental model was designed to study the ability of antibiotics to enter the pericardial compartment. Noninfected and infected pericardial fluid and serum antibiotic activities were determined in adult mongrel dogs before and at intervals after antibiotic administration. After the administration of penicillin G, methicillin, cephaloridine, streptomycin, or gentamicin, clinically adequate antibiotic levels in the noninfected pericardial fluid were obtained within 1 hr and these levels approached or exceeded the serum levels within 2 to 4 hr. Antibiotic levels obtained from infected dog pericardial fluids were higher than those from noninfected animals. Patients' serum and pericardial fluid antibiotic levels were measured after penicillin G, penicillin V, cephalothin, and gentamicin administration. It was found, both in the canine and human studies, that pericardial antibiotic levels taken at least 2 hr after antibiotic administration are almost identical to those in the blood.
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