Prophylactic voriconazole use is recommended for children undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Dosing considerations are essential, due to the narrow therapeutic window of voriconazole. Known covariates do not sufficiently explain the large interindividual pharmacokinetic (PK) variability of voriconazole. Moreover, knowledge of voriconazole PK for age <2 years is limited. We investigated genetic and clinical covariate associations with voriconazole interindividual PK variability and subsequently simulated dosing regimens in children. This study was conducted as part of a single-institution, phase I study of intravenous voriconazole therapy for children undergoing HCT. We conducted a population PK analysis and tested covariate effects on voriconazole PK, including 67 genetic variants and clinical variables. We analyzed plasma voriconazole and N-oxide metabolite concentrations from 58 children <21 years of age (including 12 children <2 years of age). A two-compartment parent mixed linear/nonlinear model best described our data. The CYP2C19 phenotype and body weight were significant covariates (P<0.05 for both). Our model performance for age <2 years was comparable to that for other age groups. Simulation of the final model suggested the following doses to attain target steady-state trough concentrations of 1.5 to 5.0mg/liter for the CYP2C19 normal phenotype: 16mg/kg (weight of <15 kg), 12mg/kg (weight of 15 to 30 kg), or 10mg/kg (weight of >30 kg); doses were 33 to 50% lower for CYP2C19 poor/intermediate phenotypes and 25 to 50% higher for CYP2C19 rapid/ultrarapid phenotypes. We propose a new starting-dose regimen, combined with therapeutic drug monitoring, for intravenous voriconazole therapy in children of all ages. Future studies should validate this dosing regimen.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Hematology Oncology Pharmacist Association Foundation (M.N.K.) and the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant, University of Minnesota (A.R.S.). We have no conflicts of interest to declare.
We acknowledge the assistance of the Clinical Pharmacology Shared Resource of the Masonic Cancer Center (designated by the National Cancer Institute and supported in part by grant P30 CA77598). We gratefully acknowledge the patients and families who participated in this work.
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- Population pharmacokinetics