Hydroxyurea Pharmacokinetics in Pediatric Patients After Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation

Alexander A. Boucher, Min Dong, Alexander A. Vinks, Anu Marahatta, Thad A. Howard, Russell E. Ware, Jaimie D. Nathan, Maisam Abu-El-Haija, Lori Luchtman-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation is a complex surgical approach for acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis that frequently triggers extreme thrombocytosis (platelets ≥ 1000 × 109/L). Thrombocytosis can be prothrombotic, so cytoreductive hydroxyurea is often initiated after this surgery; however, optimal dosing strategy and efficacy are unknown. This prospective pilot study characterized the pharmacokinetics of hydroxyurea after this procedure in children. It also compared them with previously published pediatric parameters in sickle cell anemia (SCA), the disease in which pediatric hydroxyurea pharmacokinetics have primarily been studied. Plasma hydroxyurea levels were quantified in 14 participants aged 4-19 years using high-performance liquid chromatography. Blood collections were scheduled 20 minutes, 1 hour, and 4 hours after the first dose, on pharmacokinetic day 1 (PK1), and again 2-3 months later if still on hydroxyurea (PK2). Six participants had PK1 and PK2 data at all 3 postdose timed collections, 5 only had PK1 samples, and 3 only had PK2 samples. Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation participants had reduced and delayed absorption compared with sickle cell anemia participant data from the Hydroxyurea Study of Long-Term Effects, regardless of timing or dosing methodology. Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation participants had different pharmacokinetic profiles at PK1 versus PK2, with lower dose-normalized exposures than previously reported in sickle cell anemia. These results suggest variability exists in hydroxyurea absorption and bioavailability in total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation patients, suspected to be primarily because of Roux-en-Y reconstruction, and suggest that more pharmacokinetic data are needed for scenarios when hydroxyurea is prescribed to children without sickle cell anemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology


  • clinical pharmacology
  • hematology
  • pediatrics
  • pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism
  • transplantation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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