Prediction of Fat-Free Mass in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Individualization of drug doses is essential in kidney transplant recipients. For many drugs, the individual dose is better predicted when using fat-free mass (FFM) as a scaling factor. Multiple equations have been developed to predict FFM based on healthy subjects. These equations have not been evaluated in kidney transplant recipients. The objectives of this study were to develop a kidney transplant specific equation for FFM prediction and to evaluate its predictive performance compared with previously published equations.


Ten weeks after transplantation, FFM was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Data from a consecutive cohort of 369 kidney transplant recipients were randomly assigned to an equation development data set (n = 245) or an evaluation data set (n = 124). Prediction equations were developed using linear and nonlinear regression analysis. The predictive performance of the developed equation and previously published equations in the evaluation data set was assessed.


The following equation was developed: FFM (kg) = {FFMmax × body weight (kg)/[81.3 + body weight (kg)]} × [1 + height (cm) × 0.052] × [1−age (years) × 0.0007], where FFMmax was estimated to be 11.4 in males and 10.2 in females. This equation provided an unbiased, precise prediction of FFM in the evaluation data set: mean error (ME) (95% CI), −0.71 kg (−1.60 to 0.19 kg) in males and −0.36 kg (−1.52 to 0.80 kg) in females, root mean squared error 4.21 kg (1.65–6.77 kg) in males and 3.49 kg (1.15–5.84 kg) in females. Using previously published equations, FFM was systematically overpredicted in kidney-transplanted males [ME +1.33 kg (0.40–2.25 kg) to +5.01 kg (4.06–5.95 kg)], but not in females [ME −2.99 kg (−4.07 to −1.90 kg) to +3.45 kg (2.29–4.61) kg].


A new equation for FFM prediction in kidney transplant recipients has been developed. The equation may be used for population pharmacokinetic modeling and clinical dose selection in kidney transplant recipients.

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