Stability and Performance of a Population Pharmacokinetic Model

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This study aimed to determine the stability (in terms of covariate selection) of a population pharmacokinetic model and evaluate its performance in the absence of a test data set. Data from 88 full-term infants, 11 of whom were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive, taking an antiinfective agent were analyzed using exploratory data analysis methods and the nonlinear mixed-effects modeling (NONMEM) program to obtain the final population pharmacokinetic model. The stability of the population pharmacokinetic model was tested using the nonparametric bootstrap approach in four steps: 1) with the base pharmacokinetic model, 100 bootstrap replicates of the original data were generated by sampling with replacement; 2) ascertainment that each bootstrap data replicate was described by the basic structural model using the NONMEM objective function; 3) generalized additive modeling (GAM) applied to empiric Bayesian estimates for covariate selection at α = 0.05 and a frequency (f) cutoff value of 0.50; and 4) NONMEM population model building using covariates selected in the third step with α = 0.005. Performance of the population pharmacokinetic model was evaluated using 200 additional bootstrap replicates of the data by fitting the model obtained in step 4 to them. Parameters obtained were compared with those obtained in the model stability step, and improved prediction error, a measure of predictive accuracy as an index of internal validation, was computed. The reciprocal of serum creatinine (RSC; f = 0.73) and HIV (f = 0.70) were selected by GAM as predictors of clearance (Cl). The population pharmacokinetic model obtained without the determination of model stability included RSC as a predictor of Cl, but the final model from the model stability step included both HIV and RSC as predictors of Cl. Final population pharmacokinetic parameters were obtained with this model fitted to the original data; however, the 95% confidence interval on the HIV status regression coefficient included zero, indicating no significance. The mean parameter estimates obtained with the additional 200 bootstrap replicates of data were within 15% of those obtained with the final model at the regression stability step. Bootstrap resampling procedure is useful for evaluating the stability and performance of a population model by repeatedly fitting it to the bootstrap samples when there is no test data set.

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