Potassium canrenoate treatment in paediatric patients: a population pharmacokinetic study using novel dried blood spot sampling

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To characterize the population pharmacokinetics of canrenone following administration of potassium canrenoate (K-canrenoate) in paediatric patients.


Data were collected prospectively from 37 paediatric patients (median weight 2.9 kg, age range 2 days–0.85 years) who received intravenous K-canrenoate for management of retained fluids, for example in heart failure and chronic lung disease. Dried blood spot (DBS) samples (n = 213) from these were analysed for canrenone content and the data subjected to pharmacokinetic analysis using nonlinear mixed-effects modelling. Another group of patients (n = 16) who had 71 matching plasma and DBS samples was analysed separately to compare canrenone pharmacokinetic parameters obtained using the two different matrices.


A one-compartment model best described the DBS data. Significant covariates were weight, postmenstrual age (PMA) and gestational age. The final population models for canrenone clearance (CL/F) and volume of distribution (V/F) in DBS were CL/F (l/h) = 12.86 ×  (WT/70.0)0.75 × e [0.066 ×  (PMA - 40]) and V/F (l) = 603.30 ×  (WT/70) × (GA/40)1.89 where weight is in kilograms. The corresponding values of CL/F and V/F in a patient with a median weight of 2.9 kg are 1.11 l/h and 20.48 l, respectively. Estimated half-life of canrenone based on DBS concentrations was similar to that based on matched plasma concentrations (19.99 and 19.37 h, respectively, in 70 kg patient).


The range of estimated CL/F in DBS for the study population was 0.12–9.62 l/h; hence, bodyweight-based dosage adjustment of K-canrenoate appears necessary. However, a dosing scheme that takes into consideration both weight and age (PMA/gestational age) of paediatric patients seems more appropriate.

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