A Population Pharmacokinetic Model of Gentamicin in Pediatric Oncology Patients To Facilitate Personalized Dosing

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Jul 25;61(8):e00205-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00205-17. Print 2017 Aug.


To ensure the safe and effective dosing of gentamicin in children, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is recommended. TDM utilizing Bayesian forecasting software is recommended but is unavailable, as no population model that describes the pharmacokinetics of gentamicin in pediatric oncology patients exists. This study aimed to develop and externally evaluate a population pharmacokinetic model of gentamicin to support personalized dosing in pediatric oncology patients. A nonlinear mixed-effect population pharmacokinetic model was developed from retrospective data. Data were collected from 423 patients for model building and a further 52 patients for external evaluation. A two-compartment model with first-order elimination best described the gentamicin disposition. The final model included renal function (described by fat-free mass and postmenstrual age) and the serum creatinine concentration as covariates influencing gentamicin clearance (CL). Final parameter estimates were as follow CL, 5.77 liters/h/70 kg; central volume of distribution, 21.6 liters/70 kg; peripheral volume of distribution, 13.8 liters/70 kg; and intercompartmental clearance, 0.62 liter/h/70 kg. External evaluation suggested that current models developed in other pediatric cohorts may not be suitable for use in pediatric oncology patients, as they showed a tendency to overpredict the observations in this population. The final model developed in this study displayed good predictive performance during external evaluation (root mean square error, 46.0%; mean relative prediction error, -3.40%) and may therefore be useful for the personalization of gentamicin dosing in this cohort. Further investigations should focus on evaluating the clinical application of this model.

Keywords: NONMEM; gentamicin; oncology; pediatrics; pharmacokinetics; pharmacometrics; population pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Female
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage
  • Gentamicins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Pediatrics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Software


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins