Bayesian design criteria: Computation, comparison, and application to a pharmacokinetic and a pharmacodynamic model

Research paper by Yann Merlé, France Mentré

Indexed on: 16 Feb '95Published on: 16 Feb '95Published in: Journal of pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics


In this paper 3 criteria to design experiments for Bayesian estimation of the parameters of nonlinear models with respect to their parameters, when a prior distribution is available, are presented: the determinant of the Bayesian information matrix, the determinant of the preposterior covariance matrix, and the expected information provided by an experiment. A procedure to simplify the computation of these criteria is proposed in the case of continuous prior distributions and is compared with the criterion obtained from a linearization of the model about the mean of the prior distribution for the parameters. This procedure is applied to two models commonly encountered in the area of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics: the one-compartment open model with bolus intravenous single-dose injection and theEmax model. They both involve two parameters. Additive as well as multiplicative gaussian measurement errors are considered with normal prior distributions. Various combinations of the variances of the prior distribution and of the measurement error are studied. Our attention is restricted to designs with limited numbers of measurements (1 or 2 measurements). This situation often occurs in practice when Bayesian estimation is performed. The optimal Bayesian designs that result vary with the variances of the parameter distribution and with the measurement error. The two-point optimal designs sometimes differ from the D-optimal designs for the mean of the prior distribution and may consist of replicating measurements. For the studied cases, the determinant of the Bayesian information matrix and its linearized form lead to the same optimal designs. In some cases, the pre-posterior covariance matrix can be far from its lower bound, namely, the inverse of the Bayesian information matrix, especially for theEmax model and a multiplicative measurement error. The expected information provided by the experiment and the determinant of the pre-posterior covariance matrix generally lead to the same designs except for theEmax model and the multiplicative measurement error. Results show that these criteria can be easily computed and that they could be incorporated in modules for designing experiments.