Analysis of population pharmacokinetic data using NONMEM and WinBUGS.

Journal of biopharmaceutical statistics

PubMedID: 15702605

Duffull SB, Kirkpatrick CM, Green B, Holford NH. Analysis of population pharmacokinetic data using NONMEM and WinBUGS. J Biopharm Stat. 2005;15(1):53-73.
The aim of this report is to describe the use of WinBUGS for two datasets that arise from typical population pharmacokinetic studies. The first dataset relates to gentamicin concentration-time data that arose as part of routine clinical care of 55 neonates. The second dataset incorporated data from 96 patients receiving enoxaparin. Both datasets were originally analyzed by using NONMEM. In the first instance, although NONMEM provided reasonable estimates of the fixed effects parameters it was unable to provide satisfactory estimates of the between-subject variance. In the second instance, the use of NONMEM resulted in the development of a successful model, albeit with limited available information on the between-subject variability of the pharmacokinetic parameters. WinBUGS was used to develop a model for both of these datasets. Model comparison for the enoxaparin dataset was performed by using the posterior distribution of the log-likelihood and a posterior predictive check. The use of WinBUGS supported the same structural models tried in NONMEM. For the gentamicin dataset a one-compartment model with intravenous infusion was developed, and the population parameters including the full between-subject variance-covariance matrix were available. Analysis of the enoxaparin dataset supported a two compartment model as superior to the one-compartment model, based on the posterior predictive check. Again, the full between-subject variance-covariance matrix parameters were available. Fully Bayesian approaches using MCMC methods, via WinBUGS, can offer added value for analysis of population pharmacokinetic data.