In-vivo phenotyping for CYP3A by a single-point determination of midazolam plasma concentration

Pharmacogenetics. 2001 Dec;11(9):781-91. doi: 10.1097/00008571-200112000-00006.


We investigated whether a single plasma midazolam concentration could serve as an accurate predictor of total midazolam clearance, an established in-vivo probe measure of cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) activity. In a retrospective analysis of data from 224 healthy volunteers, non-compartmental pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated from plasma concentration-time curves following intravenous (IV) and/or oral administration. Based on statistical moment theory, the concentration at the mean residence time (MRT) should be the best predictor of the total area under the curve (AUC). Following IV or oral midazolam administration, the average MRT was found to be approximately 3.5 h, suggesting that the optimal single sampling time to predict AUC was between 3 and 4 h. Since a 4-h data point was common to all studies incorporated into this analysis, we selected this time point for further investigation. The concentrations of midazolam measured 4 h after an IV or oral dose explained 80 and 91% of the constitutive interindividual variability in midazolam AUC, respectively. The 4-h midazolam measurement was also an excellent predictor of drug-drug interactions involving CYP3A induction and inhibition. Compared with baseline values, the direction and magnitude of change in midazolam AUC and the 4-h concentration were completely concordant for all study subjects. We conclude that a single 4-h midazolam concentration following IV or oral administration represents an accurate marker of CYP3A phenotype under constitutive and modified states. Moreover, the single-point approach offers an efficient means to phenotype and identify individuals with important genetic polymorphisms that affect CYP3A activity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Asian / genetics
  • Black People / genetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / analysis*
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage
  • Midazolam / blood*
  • Midazolam / pharmacokinetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies
  • White People / genetics


  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Midazolam