DG Journal Club
INTRODUCTION Fentanyl pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data are limited in mechanically ventilated children. This study aims to assess the fentanyl pharmacokinetics (PK), the sedation outcome, and the development of tolerance in children receiving fentanyl continuous infusion.
METHODS This study included children admitted to the pediatric or cardiovascular intensive care unit between January 1-October 31, 2016, who were>30 days to<18 years of age, receiving ventilatory support via endotracheal tube or tracheostomy, and receiving a fentanyl infusion. Population PK analysis was performed using a nonlinear mixed-effects model. The relationship between initial sedation outcome using State Behavioral Scale (SBS) and fentanyl exposure was assessed, and the observations consistent with tolerance were described.
RESULTS Seventeen children, with a median age of 0.83 years (range: 0.1-12) and weight of 8.7 kg (range: 3.4-52), were included. The fentanyl PK was adequately described by a weight-based allometry model with the power of 0.75 for clearance (CL=89.8 L/hr/70kg) and distributional CL, and 1 for volumes of distribution. In infants<6.6 months, age was an additional factor for CL (31.4 L/hr/70kg) to account for age-related maturation. Seven of twelve nonparalyzed patients achieved goal sedation, defined as>80% of SBS scores ≤0 per 24-hour, on the first day of fentanyl infusion with a median plasma concentration of 1.29 ng/mL (interquartile range: 0.78-2.05). Eight of the nine tolerant patients developed tolerance within a day of reaching goal sedation.
CONCLUSION Different weight-based fentanyl dosing rates may be required for infants and children of different ages to achieve similar plasma concentrations. Using SBS scores may guide the dosing titration of fentanyl that resulted in plasma concentrations within the therapeutic range of 1-3 ng/mL. For those who developed tolerance to fentanyl and/or a sedative, it was noted one day after goal sedation was achieved.