Derivation and Validation of a New Equation for Estimating Free Valproate Concentration in Critically Ill Adult Patients.

Document Type


Publication Date



Pulmonology & Critical Care Medicine

Journal Title

Crit Care Explor


IMPORTANCE: Protein binding of valproate varies among ICU patients, altering the biologically active free valproate concentration (VPAC). Free VPAC is measured at few laboratories and is often discordant with total VPAC. Existing equations to predict free VPAC are either not validated or are inaccurate in ICU patients.

OBJECTIVES: We designed this study to derive and validate a novel equation to predict free VPAC using data from ICU patients and to compare its performance to published equations.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Two academic medical centers.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients older than 18 years old with concomitant free and total VPACs measured in the ICU were included in the derivation cohort if admitted from 2014 to 2018, and the validation cohort if admitted from 2019 to 2022.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Multivariable linear regression was used to derive an equation to predict free VPAC. Modified Bland-Altman plots and the rate of therapeutic concordance between the measured and predicted free VPAC were compared.

RESULTS: Demographics, median free and total VPACs, and valproate free fractions were similar among 115 patients in the derivation cohort and 147 patients in the validation cohort. The Bland-Altman plots showed the new equation performed better (bias, 0.3 [95% limits of agreement, -13.6 to 14.2]) than the Nasreddine (-9.2 [-26.5 to 8.2]), Kodama (-9.7 [-30.0 to 10.7]), Conde Giner (-7.9 [-24.9 to 9.1]), and Parent (-9.9 [-30.7 to 11.0]) equations, and similar to Doré (-2.0 [-16.0 to 11.9]). The Doré and new equations had the highest therapeutic concordance rate (73%).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: For patients at risk of altered protein binding such as ICU patients, existing equations to predict free VPAC are discordant with measured free VPAC. A new equation had low bias but was imprecise. External validation should be performed to improve its precision and generalizability. Until then, monitoring free valproate is recommended during critical illness.



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