Determining Population and Developmental Pharmacokinetics of Metronidazole using Plasma and Dried Blood Spot Samples from Premature Infants

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Cohen-Wolkowiez, Michael; Sampson, Mario; Bloom, Barry T; Arrieta, Antonio; Wynn, James L; Martz, Karen; Harper, Barrie; Kearns, Gregory L; Capparelli, Edmund V; Siegel, David; Benjamin, Daniel K; Smith, P Brian; Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act–Pediatric Trials Network
Pediatr Infect Dis J
Date Published
2013 Sep
Anti-Infective Agents; Blood Chemical Analysis; BPCA; Desiccation; Female; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Premature; Male; Metronidazole; Models, Theoretical; Prospective Studies; Specimen Handling

BACKGROUND: Limited pharmacokinetic (PK) data of metronidazole in premature infants have led to various dosing recommendations. Surrogate efficacy targets for metronidazole are ill-defined and therefore aimed to exceed minimum inhibitory concentration of organisms responsible for intra-abdominal infections.

METHODS: We evaluated the PK of metronidazole using plasma and dried blood spot samples from infants ≤32 weeks gestational age in an open-label, PK, multicenter (N = 3) study using population PK modeling (NONMEM). Monte Carlo simulations (N = 1000 virtual subjects) were used to evaluate the surrogate efficacy target. Metabolic ratios of parent and metabolite were calculated.

RESULTS: Twenty-four premature infants (111 plasma and 51 dried blood spot samples) were enrolled: median (range) gestational age at birth 25 (23-31) weeks, postnatal age 27 (1-82) days, postmenstrual age 31 (24-39) weeks and weight 740 (431-1466) g. Population clearance (L/h/kg) was 0.038 × (postmenstrual age/30) and volume of distribution (L/kg) of 0.93. PK parameter estimates and precision were similar between plasma and dried blood spot samples. Metabolic ratios correlated with clearance.

CONCLUSION: Simulations suggested the majority of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (>80%) would meet the surrogate efficacy target using postmenstrual age-based dosing.