Modelling human immunodeficiency virus ribonucleic acid levels with finite mixtures for censored longitudinal data
The measurement of human immunodeficiency virus ribonucleic acid levels over time leads to censored longitudinal data. Suitable models for dynamic modelling of these levels need to take this data characteristic into account. If groups of patients with different developments of the levels over time are suspected the model class of finite mixtures of mixed effects models with censored data is required. We describe the model specification and derive the estimation with a suitable expectation-maximization algorithm. We propose a convenient implementation using closed form formulae for the expected mean and variance of the truncated multivariate distribution. Only efficient evaluation of the cumulative multivariate normal distribution function is required. Model selection as well as methods for inference are discussed. The application is demonstrated on the clinical trial ACTG 315 data.