Consecutive patients with abnormal rectal examinations underwenttransrectal needle prostate biopsy at VA Medical Center, New Orleans. Each patient was randomized to receive either gentamicin 1.5 mg/kg intravenously (IV) or 500 mg ciprofloxacin (Cipro-Miles) p.o., before and after the biopsy. Serum and prostate tissue levels of ciprofloxacin and gentamicin were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography and by competitive binding immunoassay, respectively. Blood cultures were obtained, and the patients were observed for twenty-four hours after biopsy. After discharge the patients were followed up by telephone. The incidence of bacteremia and postbiopsy symptoms were less with ciprofloxacin. Prostate tissue levels of this drug were higher than gentamicin, while serum levels were roughly equivalent. Ciprofloxacin is less nephrotoxic, can be given orally, and has a better antimicrobial spectrum. We, therefore, recommend it as prophylaxis against bacteremia in transrectal prostate needle biopsy. Furthermore, it appears that prostatic drug levels are more important than serum levels in preventing bacteremia.
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