Fractal geometry and the pharmacometrics of micafungin in overweight, obese, and extremely obese people

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Nov;55(11):5107-12. doi: 10.1128/AAC.05193-11. Epub 2011 Aug 29.


The majority of Americans are overweight, and the incidence of obesity continues to increase. This trend predisposes people to a number of deleterious consequences, including the metabolic syndrome and other conditions that lead to a greater number of hospital admissions. Invasive candidiasis is an important nosocomial infection that results from these admissions. Echinocandins such as micafungin are indicated for treatment. We have previously demonstrated that overweight patients exhibit higher micafungin systemic clearance (SCL) than leaner patients. We hypothesized that obese and extremely obese people would show even higher SCL than merely overweight patients. To test this, we performed a prospective study of 36 adult volunteers randomized to receive a single dose of either 100 mg or 300 mg of micafungin whose body mass index fell within one of the following categories: <25, 25 to 40, and >40 kg/m(2). The male-to-female ratio was 1:1. The minimum weight was 43 kg, the median 97 kg, and the maximum weight 155 kg. A two-compartment model was examined using the maximum likelihood solution via the expectation-maximization algorithm. Men had a higher median SCL of 1.53 liters/h versus 1.29 liters/h (P = 0.01) in the Mann-Whitney U-test. The typical SCL was 1.04 liters/h but increased by a factor of (weight/66)(0.75) as weight increased above 66 kg. Thus, the relationship between micafungin SCL and weight in adults is best described by fractal-geometry-based laws. Furthermore, micafungin SCL continues to increase as weight increases, with no obvious plateau. This leads to a requirement for strategies to determine individualized dosing levels for obese and extremely obese patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Echinocandins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipopeptides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Micafungin
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Overweight / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Echinocandins
  • Lipopeptides
  • Micafungin