Contributions to an improved phenytoin monitoring and dosing in hospitalized patients

Tobler-Giger, Andrea. Contributions to an improved phenytoin monitoring and dosing in hospitalized patients. 2016, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_11783

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Phenytoin (PHT) is one of the mostly used and well established anticonvulsants for the treatment of epilepsy and a standard in the antiepileptic prophylaxis in adults with severe traumatic brain injuries before and after neurosurgical intervention.
Its therapeutic use is challenging as PHT has a narrow therapeutic range and shows non-linear kinetics.
It is extensively metabolized by a variety of CYP enzymes. PHT shows 85-95% binding to plasma proteins mostly albumin. This renders PHT also an important drug interaction candidate. Therefore, therapeutic drug monitoring is often required. A rational timing for good interpretation of the lab data translated in optimal individual dosing are necessary. Therapeutic guidance especially in teaching hospitals are needed and have to be implemented.
Bayesian Forecasting (BF) versus conventional dosing (CD): a retrospective, long-term, single centre analysis
In the hospital, medication management for effective antiepileptic therapy with PHT often needs rapid IV loading and subsequent dose adjustment according to TDM. To investigate PHT performance in reaching therapeutic target serum concentration, a BF regimen was compared to CD, according to the official summary of product characteristics. In a Swiss acute care teaching hospital (Kantonsspital Aarau), a retrospective, single centre, and long-term analysis was assessed by using all PHT serum tests from the central lab from 1997 to 2007. The BF regimen consisted of a guided, body weight-adapted rapid IV PHT loading over five days with pre-defined TDM time points. The CD was applied without written guidance. Assuming non-normally distributed data, non-parametric statistical methods were used. A total of 6’120 PHT serum levels (2’819 BF and 3’301 CD) from 2’589 patients (869 BF and 1’720 CD) were evaluated and compared. 63.6% of the PHT serum levels from the BF group were within the therapeutic range versus only 34.0% in the CD group (p<0.0001). The mean BF serum level was 52.0 ± 22.1 µmol/L (within target range), whereas the mean serum level of the CD was 39.8 ± 28.2 µmol/L (sub-target range). In the BF group, men had small but significantly lower PHT serum levels compared to women (p<0.0001). The CD group showed no significant gender difference (p=0.187). A comparative sub-analysis of age-related groups (children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and elderly) showed significant lower target levels (p<0.0001) for each group in the CD group, compared to BF. Comparing the two groups, BF showed significantly better performance in reaching therapeutic PHT serum levels.
Free PHT assessment
However, total serum drug levels of difficult-to-dose drugs like PHT are sometimes insufficient. The knowledge of the free fraction is necessary for correct dosing. In a subgroup analysis of the above BF vs. CD study we evaluated the suitability of the Sheiner-Tozer algorithm to calculate the free PHT fraction in hypoalbuminemic patients. Free PHT serum concentrations were calculated from total PHT concentration in hypoalbuminemic patients and compared with the measured free PHT. The patients were separated into two groups (a low albumin group; 35 ≤ albumin ≥ 25 g/L and a very low albumin group; albumin < 25 g/L). These two groups were compared and statistically analysed for the calculated and the measured free PHT concentration. The calculated (1.2 mg/L, SD=0.7) and the measured (1.1 mg/L, SD=0.5) free PHT concentration correlated. The mean difference in the low and the very low albumin group was 0.10 mg/L (SD=1.4, n=11) and 0.13 mg/L (SD=0.24, n=12), respectively. Although the variability of the data could be a bias, no statistically significant difference between the groups was found: t-test (p=0.78), the Passing-Bablok regression, the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient of r=0.907 and p=0.00, and the Bland-Altman plot including the regression analysis between the calculated and the measured value (M=0.11, SD=0.28).
We concluded that in absence of a free PHT serum concentration measurement also in hypoalbuminemic patients, the Sheiner-Tozer algorithm represents a useful tool to assist TDM to calculate or control free PHT by using total PHT and the albumin concentration.
GC-MS Analysis of biological PHT samples
To correlate PHT blood serum levels, with “brain PHT levels” (the site of action of PHT), extracellular fluid from microdialysates in neurosurgical patients could be analyzed for PHT by an appropriate quantifying analytical method. In this investigation we describe the development and validation of a sensitive gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) method to identify and quantitate PHT in brain microdialysate, saliva and blood from human samples. For sample clean-up a SPE was performed with a nonpolar C8-SCX column. The eluate was evaporated with nitrogen (50°C) and derivatized with trimethylsulfonium hydroxide before GC-MS analysis. 5-(p-methylphenyl)-5-phenylhydantoin was used as internal standard. The MS was run in scan mode and the identification was made with three ion fragment masses. All peaks were identified with MassLib. Spiked PHT samples showed recovery after SPE of ≥ 94%. The calibration curve (PHT 50 to 1’200 ng/ml, n=6 at six concentration levels) showed good linearity and correlation (r2 > 0.998). The limit of detection was 15 ng/mL, the limit of quantification was 50 ng/mL. Dried extracted samples were stable within a 15% deviation range for ≥ 4 weeks at room temperature. The method met International Organization for Standardization standards and was able to detect and quantify PHT in different biological matrices and patient samples. The GC-MS method with SPE is specific, sensitive, robust and well reproducible and therefore, an appropriate candidate for pharmacokinetic assessment of PHT concentrations in different biological samples of treated patients.
Advisors:Mühlebach, Stefan and Haschke, Manuel
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Pharmazeutische Wissenschaften > Pharmazie > Klinische Pharmazie/Spitalpharmazie (Meier)
UniBasel Contributors:Haschke, Manuel
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:11783
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (IV, 60 Seiten)
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:27 Feb 2018 14:16
Deposited On:03 Oct 2016 08:14

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