Patient-led Remote IntraCapillary pharmacoKinetic Sampling (fingerPRICKS) for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Desmond Chee, Rachel Nice, Ben Hamilton, Edward Jones, Sarah Hawkins, Clare Redstone, Vida Cairnes, Keith Pohl, Neil Chanchlani, Simeng Lin, Nicholas A. Kennedy, Tariq Ahmad, James R. Goodhand, Timothy J. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Because of COVID-19 public health restrictions, telemedicine has replaced conventional outpatient follow up for most patients with chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disorders treated with biologic drugs. Innovative solutions to facilitate remote therapeutic drug monitoring are therefore required. Low-volume intracapillary blood sampling can be undertaken by patients at home and samples returned by post to central laboratories. We sought to report the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on requests for therapeutic drug monitoring and the equivalence, acceptability and effectiveness of low volume Patient-led Remote IntraCapillary pharmacoKinetic Sampling [fingerPRICKS] compared to conventional venepuncture. METHODS: We undertook a cross-sectional blood sampling methods comparison study and compared sample types using linear regression models. Drug and antidrug antibody levels were measured using standard ELISAs. Acceptability was assessed using a purpose-designed questionnaire. RESULTS: Therapeutic drug monitoring requests for adalimumab (96.5 [70.5-106] per week to 52 [33.5-57.0], p < 0.001) but not infliximab (184.5 [161.2-214.2] to 161 [135-197.5], p = 0.34) reduced during the first UK stay-at-home lockdown compared with the preceding 6 months. Fingerprick sampling was equivalent to conventional venepuncture for adalimumab, infliximab, vedolizumab and ustekinumab drug, and anti-adalimumab and anti-infliximab antibody levels. The median [interquartile range] volume of serum obtained using intracapillary sampling was 195 µL [130-210]. More than 87% [90/103] of patients agreed that intracapillary testing was easy and 69% [71/103] preferred it to conventional venepuncture. In routine care, 75.3% [58/77] of patients returned two blood samples within 14 days to permit remote assessment of biologic therapeutic drug monitoring. CONCLUSIONS: Therapeutic drug monitoring can be undertaken using patient-led remote intracapillary blood sampling and has the potential to be a key adjunct to telemedicine in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • biologics
  • capillary blood test
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • pharmacokinetics
  • therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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