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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019 May 24;63(6). pii: e00006-19. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00006-19. Print 2019 Jun.

Population Pharmacokinetics and Dosing Optimization of Imipenem in Children with Hematological Malignancies.

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Department of Pharmacy, Children's Hospital of Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang, China.
Department of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology, Children's Hospital of Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang, China.
Department of Pharmacy, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
Department of Paediatric Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics, Hôpital Robert Debré, APHP, Paris, France.
University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, Jinan, China
Paediatric Research Institute, Children's Hospital of Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang, China.
Contributed equally


Imipenem is widely used for the treatment of children with serious infections. Currently, studies on the pharmacokinetics of imipenem in children with hematological malignancies are lacking. Given the significant impact of disease on pharmacokinetics and increased resistance, we aimed to conduct a population pharmacokinetic study of imipenem and optimize the dosage regimens for this vulnerable population. After children were treated with imipenem-cilastatin (IMP-CS), blood samples were collected from the children and the concentrations of imipenem were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. Then, a population-level pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted using NONMEM software. Data were collected from 56 children (age range, 2.03 to 11.82 years) with hematological malignancies to conduct a population pharmacokinetic analysis. In this study, a two-compartment model that followed first-order elimination was found to be the most suitable. The parameters of current weight, age, and creatinine elimination rate were significant covariates that influenced imipenem pharmacokinetics. As a result, 41.4%, 56.1%, and 67.1% of the children reached the pharmacodynamic target (the percentage of the time during the total dosing interval that the free drug concentration remains above the MIC of 70%) against sensitive pathogens with an MIC of 0.5 mg/liter with imipenem at 15, 20, and 25 mg/kg of body weight every 6 h (q6h), respectively. However, only 11.1% of the children achieved the pharmacodynamic target against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates with an MIC of 2 mg/liter at a dose of 25 mg/kg q6h. The population pharmacokinetics of imipenem were assessed in children. The current dosage regimens of imipenem result in underdosing against resistant pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii However, for sensitive pathogens, imipenem has an acceptable pharmacodynamic target rate at a dosage of 25 mg/kg q6h. (The study discussed in this paper has been registered at under identifier NCT03113344.).


children; dosing; imipenem; population pharmacokinetics

[Available on 2019-11-23]

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