Aims: Theophylline clearance is known to be reduced in patients with chronic liver diseases (CLDs) such as chronic hepatitis (CH) and liver cirrhosis (LC). The Child–Pugh (CP) score is generally used for pharmacokinetic evaluation, whilst a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) has not yet been fully evaluated. This study aimed to predict theophylline clearance in patients with LC classified based on CP and MELD scores by population pharmacokinetic (PPK) analysis. Methods: PPK analysis included 433 steady-state trough concentrations from 192 Japanese bronchial asthma patients with and without CLDs and was performed using NONMEM. The severity of LC was assessed by CP and MELD scores. Results: The final CP and MELD models which described apparent theophylline clearance (CL/F) were obtained. The CP model showed that the mean CL/F in patients without CLDs, CH patients and LC patients with CP class A, B and C was 0.0473, 0.0413, 0.0330, 0.0280 and 0.0209 L/h kg−1, respectively. The MELD model predicted that CL/F in patients without CLDs, CH patients and LC patients with MELD scores of <10, 10–14, 15–19, 20–24 and ≥25 was 0.0472, 0.0413, 0.0324, 0.0268, 0.0230, 0.0197 and 0.0155 L/h kg−1, respectively. Conclusions: CL/F in various stages of LC was evaluated, and a change in CL/F was highly dependent on the severity of CLDs in both models. The MELD model provided a more accurate and precise description of theophylline clearance in LC than the CP model, which may be due to the wider dynamic range of the MELD score.
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