Measurement reliability of highly variable physiological responses to experimentally-manipulated gas fractions.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Ventilatory and cardiac responses to changing inhaled gas fractions are notoriously variable within individuals. Such variation can confound clinical diagnoses and hypotheses about human adaptation. In this study we use a cardiac (HHR) and a ventilatory (HVR) measure of physiological sensitivity to an experimentally manipulated oxygen concentration (8% O2), to compare variation (a) within and between individuals, (b) within and between days and (c) within and between physiological parameters. To explore the sources of variation, we use the coefficient of variation (CV, %), repeatability (R, intraclass correlation coefficient, %) and repeated-measures analyses of variance. Both the HVR and the HHR are significantly repeatable (HVR: R = 0.76-0.92; HHR: R = 0.35-0.76) and equally variable within and between days. Its high R suggests that the HVR displays greater between-individual variation relative to within-individual variation than does the HHR. The HVR is thus a more reliable measure of physiological sensitivity to hypoxia than is the HHR. We suggest how these results may inform experimental design, and suggest how to avoid stochastic and experimental artefacts when investigating ventilatory and cardiac physiological responses to hypoxia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Terblanche, J; Fahlman, A; Myburgh, KH; Jackson, S

Published Date

  • October 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1189 - 1197

PubMed ID

  • 15535184

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6579

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0967-3334

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1088/0967-3334/25/5/009


  • eng