Background: Suboptimal exposure to antituberculosis (anti-TB) drugs has been associated with unfavourable treatment outcomes. We aimed to investigate estimates and determinants of first-line anti-TB drug pharmacokinetics in children and adolescents at a global level.
Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science (1990-2021) for pharmacokinetic studies of first-line anti-TB drugs in children and adolescents. Individual patient data were obtained from authors of eligible studies. Summary estimates of total/extrapolated area under the plasma concentration-time curve from 0 to 24 h post-dose (AUC0-24) and peak plasma concentration (C max) were assessed with random-effects models, normalised with current World Health Organization-recommended paediatric doses. Determinants of AUC0-24 and C max were assessed with linear mixed-effects models.
Results: Of 55 eligible studies, individual patient data were available for 39 (71%), including 1628 participants from 12 countries. Geometric means of steady-state AUC0-24 were summarised for isoniazid (18.7 (95% CI 15.5-22.6) h·mg·L-1), rifampicin (34.4 (95% CI 29.4-40.3) h·mg·L-1), pyrazinamide (375.0 (95% CI 339.9-413.7) h·mg·L-1) and ethambutol (8.0 (95% CI 6.4-10.0) h·mg·L-1). Our multivariate models indicated that younger age (especially <2 years) and HIV-positive status were associated with lower AUC0-24 for all first-line anti-TB drugs, while severe malnutrition was associated with lower AUC0-24 for isoniazid and pyrazinamide. N-acetyltransferase 2 rapid acetylators had lower isoniazid AUC0-24 and slow acetylators had higher isoniazid AUC0-24 than intermediate acetylators. Determinants of C max were generally similar to those for AUC0-24.
Conclusions: This study provides the most comprehensive estimates of plasma exposures to first-line anti-TB drugs in children and adolescents. Key determinants of drug exposures were identified. These may be relevant for population-specific dose adjustment or individualised therapeutic drug monitoring.
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