Is it possible to use data below the limit of quantitation in pharmacokinetic studies?

Results below the limit of quantification (BLQ) are generally not reported or reported without explicit numbers, leaving pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) studies wishing for more information to improve their model parameters. But the laboratory cannot release actual values BLQ since the quality of that data has never been assessed.

Possible solutions to this unfortunate situation were investigated in a recent perspective article led by our group and published in Bioanalysis. The article titled: “Utilization of data below the analytical limit of quantitation in pharmacokinetic analysis and modelling: promoting interdisciplinary debate”, expanse the so far used statistical salvage of information, by an experimental addition to investigate the quality of data BLQ.

By directing this article towards the pharmacometrician, the analytical scientist and the regulatory personnel, we hope to encourage an inter-disciplinary discussion to improve the situation by finding ways to use BLQ data in PK/PD studies, in order to enhance the quality of the obtained pharmacokinetic models. Several ways were proposed for moving forward, in particular improving/modifying method validation guidelines for enabling to use BLQ data and leaving the decision regarding whether and how to incorporate the BLQ data into a PK/PD model to the data analyst and not the analytical chemist.

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