Weight and body composition compartments do not predict therapeutic thiopurine metabolite levels in inflammatory bowel bisease

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OBJECTIVES: Thiopurine drugs are the most commonly used steroid-sparing therapies in moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Their complex metabolism and their narrow therapeutic windows means that optimal dosing is difficult. However, weight-based dosing is the norm. Similar antimetabolites are dosed by body composition parameters. In IBD, treatment response and toxicity has been shown to correlate with thiopurine metabolite levels. We sought to determine whether weight or body composition parameters predicted therapeutic 6-thioguanine nucleotide (6TGN) or toxic 6-methylmercaptopurine (6MMP) levels. METHODS: This single-center retrospective cohort study identified 66 IBD patients who had body composition analysis and thiopurine metabolite levels tested. Statistical analysis was performed using Spearman correlation, Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney, and unpaired t tests and receiver-operator operating characteristic curves. A P value of o0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: No correlation was identified between 6TGN and any body composition parameters, absolute drug dose or drug dose/ kg of fat mass, fat-free mass (FFM), subcutaneous adipose tissue area, or visceral adipose tissue area. However, 6MMP correlated with azathioprine dose, thiopurine dose/kg of body weight, and with several body composition parameters. CONCLUSIONS: No relationship was found between therapeutic metabolite levels and weight or body composition compartments. Higher thiopurine doses, especially in relation to FFM, are associated with higher levels of potentially hepatotoxic 6MMP and shunting toward this metabolite. Conventional weight-based dosing to attain therapeutic metabolite levels appears unreliable and may be replaced by metabolite level testing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere199
JournalClinical and Translational Gastroenterology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2016

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