Background and Objectives:
Several analytical techniques with different performances are available for the measurement of tacrolimus blood concentrations. The performance of Bayesian estimators (MAP-BEs) allowing dose adjustments of tacrolimus is dependent on the precision of the analytical technique. Hence, any Bayesian estimator should only be used for concentration data obtained with the same assay employed for its development. The present study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of developing Bayesian estimators dedicated to different immunoassays, using the concentrations obtained with the reference high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS) method and a simulation approach.
Patients and Methods:
One hundred thirty-five full pharmacokinetic profiles of tacrolimus were obtained from 45 renal transplant patients using 3 different analytical techniques: 2 immunoassays [enzyme-multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) and chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA)] and LC-MS/MS. In a first step, 3 MAP-BEs were developed using the concentrations measured with the 3 techniques. Taking into account the correlation equations between the concentrations obtained with each of the immunoassays and LC-MS/MS, as well as the analytical error of the techniques, 2 hybrid MAP-BEs dedicated to the immunoassays were then developed after simulation of 100 pharmacokinetic profiles. Their performances were compared with those of the respective MAP-BEs developed using the actual immunoassay concentrations.
The mean concentrations measured over the dosing interval using EMIT and CMIA were significantly higher than those measured using LC-MS/MS (+15% and +11% in the AUC0-24 h value, respectively, P < 0.0001), leading to differences in dose recommendations of −0.9 ± 1.1 and −0.7 ± 0.9 mg, respectively. When applying the MAP-BE developed from LC-MS/MS data for the EMIT or CMIA concentrations, tacrolimus AUC0-24 h was estimated with an imprecision >20% in 33% and 27% of the patients, respectively. In contrast, the “CMIA” and “EMIT” hybrid MAP-BEs provided a good AUC0-24 h estimation in 85%-93% of the patients.
This study showed the impact of the analytical technique on the performance of Bayesian estimators dedicated to tacrolimus dose adjustment and the feasibility to develop MAP-BE for a specific assay using results from a different assay, based on a limited method comparison study. This methodology could offer clinicians the opportunity to dose adjust tacrolimus whatever the assay used in their center.