The urinary excretion of the renal proximal tubular enzyme, gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-GT), has been studied in 41 patients receiving tobramycin, gentamicin or streptomycin for a variety of infections. All patients receiving tobramycin or gentamicin have shown increased excretion of gamma-GT in the urine. Only 46% of those receiving streptomycin have shown an increase in gamma-GT excretion and this is of a lesser degree. A change in creatinine clearance which could only be explained by antibiotic administration was detected in three patients (2 on gentamicin, 1 on streptomycin). The degree of elevation of urinary gamma-GT activity was greater when the initial creatinine clearance was lower, and it is therefore suggested that those patients with pre-existing renal dysfunction should be monitored particularly carefully for signs of nephrotoxicity from these antibiotics. Urinary gamma-GT is a useful enzyme in the investigation of renal drug effects.
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