2014 Volume 37 Issue 6 Pages 916-921
Bayesian estimation enables the individual pharmacokinetic parameters of the medication administrated to be estimated using only a few blood concentrations. Due to wide inter-individual variability in the pharmacokinetics of methotrexate (MTX), the concentration of MTX needs to be frequently determined during high-dose MTX therapy in order to prevent toxic adverse events. To apply the benefits of Bayesian estimation to cases treated with this therapy, we attempted to develop an estimation method using the Bayesian least-squares method, which is commonly used for therapeutic monitoring in a clinical setting. Because this method hypothesizes independency among population pharmacokinetic parameters, we focused on correlations among population pharmacokinetic parameters used to estimate individual parameters. A two-compartment model adequately described the observed concentration of MTX. The individual pharmacokinetic parameters of MTX were estimated in 57 cases using the maximum likelihood method. Among the available parameters accounting for a 2-compartment model, V1, k10, k12, and k21 were found to be the combination showing the weakest correlations, which indicated that this combination was best suited to the Bayesian least-squares method. Using this combination of population pharmacokinetic parameters, Bayesian estimation provided an accurate estimation of individual parameters. In addition, we demonstrated that the degree of correlation among population pharmacokinetic parameters used in the estimation affected the precision of the estimates. This result highlights the necessity of assessing correlations among the population pharmacokinetic parameters used in the Bayesian least-squares method.