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Modelling and simulation of variability and uncertainty in toxicokinetics and pharmacokinetics.

Nestorov, I.

Toxicology Letters, 120(1-3), 411-420 (2001).

Two important methodological issues within the framework of the variability and uncertainty analysis of toxicokinetic and pharmacokinetic systems are discussed: (i) modelling and simulation of the existing physiologic variability in a population; and (ii) modelling and simulation of variability and uncertainty when there is insufficient or not well defined (e.g. small sample, semiquantitative, qualitative and vague) information available. Physiologically based pharmacokinetic models are especially suited for separating and characterising the physiologic variability from the overall variability and uncertainty in the system. Monte Carlo sampling should draw from multivariate distributions, which reflect all levels of existing dependencies in the intact organism. The population characteristics should be taken into account. A fuzzy simulation approach is proposed to model variability and uncertainty when there is semiquantitative, qualitative and vague information about the model parameters and their statistical distributions cannot be defined reliably.