Population Fisher information matrix and optimal design of discrete data responses in population pharmacodynamic experiments

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    In the recent years, interest in the application of experimental design theory to population pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) experiments has increased. The aim is to improve the efficiency and the precision with which parameters are estimated during data analysis and sometimes to increase the power and reduce the sample size required for hypothesis testing. The population Fisher information matrix (PFIM) has been described for uniresponse and multiresponse population PK experiments for design evaluation and optimisation. Despite these developments and availability of tools for optimal design of population PK and PD experiments much of the effort has been focused on repeated continuous variable measurements with less work being done on repeated discrete type measurements. Discrete data arise mainly in PDs e.g. ordinal, nominal, dichotomous or count measurements. This paper implements expressions for the PFIM for repeated ordinal, dichotomous and count measurements based on analysis by a mixed-effects modelling technique. Three simulation studies were used to investigate the performance of the expressions. Example 1 is based on repeated dichotomous measurements, Example 2 is based on repeated count measurements and Example 3 is based on repeated ordinal measurements. Data simulated in MATLAB were analysed using NONMEM (Laplace method) and the glmmML package in R (Laplace and adaptive Gauss-Hermite quadrature methods). The results obtained for Examples 1 and 2 showed good agreement between the relative standard errors obtained using the PFIM and simulations. The results obtained for Example 3 showed the importance of sampling at the most informative time points. Implementation of these expressions will provide the opportunity for efficient design of population PD experiments that involve discrete type data through design evaluation and optimisation. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)449-469
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


    • Clinical trials
    • Discrete data
    • Mixed-effect modelling
    • Optimal design
    • Population Fisher information matrix
    • Population pharmacodynamics


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