Drug–physiology interaction and its influence on the QT prolongation-mechanistic modeling study

  • Barbara Wiśniowska
  • Sebastian Polak
Original Paper


The current study is an example of drug–disease interaction modeling where a drug induces a condition which can affect the pharmacodynamics of other concomitantly taken drugs. The electrophysiological effects of hypokaliemia and heart rate changes induced by the antiasthmatic drugs were simulated with the use of the cardiac safety simulator. Biophysically detailed model of the human cardiac physiology—ten Tusscher ventricular cardiomyocyte cell model—was employed to generate pseudo-ECG signals and QTc intervals for 44 patients from four clinical studies. Simulated and observed mean QTc values with standard deviation (SD) for each reported study point were compared and differences were analyzed with Student’s t test (α = 0.05). The simulated results reflected the QTc interval changes measured in patients, as well as their clinically observed interindividual variability. The QTc interval changes were highly correlated with the change in plasma potassium both in clinical studies and in the simulations (Pearson’s correlation coefficient > 0.55). The results suggest that the modeling and simulation approach could provide valuable quantitative insight into the cardiological effect of the potassium and heart rate changes caused by electrophysiologically inactive, non-cardiological drugs. This allows to simulate and predict the joint effect of several risk factors for QT prolongation, e.g., drug-dependent QT prolongation due to the ion channels inhibition and the current patient physiological conditions.


Plasma potassium QT prolongation Modeling and simulation Drug–disease interaction 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Unit, Faculty of PharmacyJagiellonian University Medical CollegeKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Simcyp (Part of Certara)SheffieldUK

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