Pharmacokinetic two-compartment model

Pharmacokinetics refers to the rate and extent of distribution of a drug to different tissues, and the rate of elimination of the drug. Pharmacokinetics can be reduced to mathematical equations, which describe the transit of the drug throughout the body, a net balance sheet from absorption and distribution to metabolism and excretion.

Pharmacokinetic two-compartment model divided the body into central and peripheral compartment. The central compartment (compartment 1) consists of the plasma and tissues where the distribution of the drug is practically instantaneous. The peripheral compartment (compartment 2) consists of tissues where the distribution of the drug is slower.

Pharmacokinetic two-compartment model
Figure 1. Two-compartment model with first-order absorption and elimination. AGI, A1, and A2 are the amounts of drug in gastrointestinal tract (GI), central compartment (including plasma), and peripheral compartment, respectively. ka, k12, k21, and k10 represent the first-order fractional rate constants for absorption, distribution, redistribution, and elimination.

Drug concentrations in the compartments equal to the amounts divided by volumes: C1=A1/V1 and C2=A2/V2. Drug concentration in the central compartment is equal to the concentration in the plasma: CP=C1. Clearance (in units L/h) is often used instead of the fractional rate constants (in units h-1); in pharmacokinetics the distribution volume is given in volume units (L), and rate constants can be represented as the ratio of clearance and distribution volume, k=CL/V.

In the case of oral administration of the drug, at time t=0 the amount of drug in the central and peripheral compartments is zero (A1(0)=A2(0)=0), and the initial amount in gastrointestinal tract (effective dose) is:

, where D is the administered dose of the drug, S is the salt factor (fraction of administered dose that is made up of pure drug), and F is the bioavailability factor (fraction of dose that reaches the systemic circulation).

The amount of drug in GI decreases with time:

Drug concentrations in the central and peripheral compartments can be calculated with differential equations:

After integration of the equations from time zero:

In the case of intravenous (IV) administration of the drug, F=1.0, and at time t=0 the amount of drug in the peripheral compartment is zero (A2(0)=0), and the amount in the central compartment, A1, is:

See also:


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Updated at: 2019-01-06
Created at: 2016-12-16
Written by: Vesa Oikonen