Medline ® Abstract for Reference 101
of 'Chemotherapy hepatotoxicity and dose modification in patients with liver disease'
Hepatotoxicity of 6-mercaptopurine in childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia: pharmacokinetic characteristics.
Berkovitch M, Matsui D, Zipursky A, Blanchette VS, Verjee Z, Giesbrecht E, Saunders EF, Evans WE, Koren G
Med Pediatr Oncol. 1996;26(2):85.
Treatment with 6-mercaptopurine (6MP) is associated with adverse gastrointestinal (GI) and hepatic effects. Four patients, ages 6.9 +/- 2.6 (mean +/- S.D.) years, with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) on maintenance chemotherapy including 6MP, developed nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, elevated liver enzymes, and hyperbilirubinemia after 1.4 +/- 1.0 (range 0.5-2) years. Liver biopsy in 1 patient was suggestive of drug-induced intrahepatic cholestatis. Symptoms resolved and liver function returned to normal after discontinuation of 6MP. Pharmacokinetic data of the symptomatic patients were compared with those of 25 ALL patients on the same protocol but without GI symptoms or hepatotoxicity. Levels of 6-thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGN) and the methylated metabolites of 6MP in red blood cells of the patients with hepatotoxicity, were not significantly different when compared to patients without hepatotoxicity, suggesting similar absorption of 6MP in both groups. Time to achieve peak 6MP levels was significantly longer in the symptomatic patients compared to the asymptomatic patients (P = 0.005). Peak levels and standardized concentration versus time curve (AUC) per 1 mg of 6MP per m2 of body surface area were significantly lower in the patients with hepatotoxicity (P = 0.016; P = 0.037, respectively). A significant correlation between peak 6MP levels and standardized AUC (r = 0.729, P<0.0001) was found. These results suggest accumulation of 6MP and its metabolites in the liver of the patients with GI symptoms, leading to hepatotoxicity.
Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.