Population Pharmacokinetics of Clotting Factor Concentrates and Desmopressin in Hemophilia

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2021 Jan;60(1):1-16. doi: 10.1007/s40262-020-00936-5.


Hemophilia A and B are bleeding disorders caused by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII and IX, respectively. Patients with severe hemophilia (< 0.01 IU mL-1) and some patients with moderate hemophilia (0.01-0.05 IU mL-1) administer clotting factor concentrates prophylactically. Desmopressin (D-amino D-arginine vasopressin) can be applied in patients with non-severe hemophilia A. The aim of administration of factor concentrates or desmopressin is the prevention or cessation of bleeding. Despite weight-based dosing, it has been demonstrated that factor concentrates still exhibit considerable pharmacokinetic variability. Population pharmacokinetic analyses, in which this variability is quantified and explained, are increasingly performed in hemophilia research. These analyses can assist in the identification of important patient characteristics and can be applied to perform patient-tailored dosing. This review aims to present and discuss the population pharmacokinetic analyses that have been conducted to develop population pharmacokinetic models describing factor levels after administration of factor VIII or factor IX concentrates or D-amino D-arginine vasopressin. In total, 33 publications were retrieved from the literature. Two approaches were applied to perform population pharmacokinetic analyses, the standard two-stage approach and non-linear mixed-effect modeling. Using the standard two-stage approach, four population pharmacokinetic models were established describing factor VIII levels. In the remaining 29 analyses, the non-linear mixed-effect modeling approach was applied. NONMEM was the preferred software to establish population pharmacokinetic models. In total, 18 population pharmacokinetic analyses were conducted on the basis of data from a single product. From all available population pharmacokinetic analyses, 27 studies also included data from pediatric patients. In the majority of the population pharmacokinetic models, the population pharmacokinetic parameters were allometrically scaled using actual body weight. In this review, the available methods used for constructing the models, key features of these models, patient population characteristics, and established covariate relationships are described in detail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Factors* / pharmacokinetics
  • Child
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin* / pharmacokinetics
  • Hemophilia A* / drug therapy
  • Hemophilia A* / metabolism
  • Humans


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin