Comparison of mathematical methods for calculating colonic compliance in humans: power exponential, computer-based and manual linear interpolation models


Michael Camilleri MD, Mayo Clinic, Charlton 8-110, 200 First St S.W., Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
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Abstract  Measuring compliance allows differentiation of sensory changes from changes in thresholds because of altered compliance. As compliance of the colorectum is sigmoidal, a power exponential analysis was recommended. We aimed to develop and validate simpler measurements of compliance. Forty subjects (23 female, 17 male) underwent colonic barostat procedures comparing dronabinol vs placebo. Results of the effects on compliance were reported elsewhere. Compliance was determined as volume response to pressures ranging from 0 to 36 mmHg. Pressures corresponding to 10%, 50% and 90% (Pr10, Pr50 and Pr90) of maximum volume at 36 mmHg were estimated using a power exponential model, computer-based and manual linear interpolation. Data were compared and concordance evaluated. Pr50 and Pr90 were not significantly different by all methods for baseline and post-treatment. Respectively, concordance correlation coefficients were: pretreatment, 0.879, 0.464 and post-treatment, 0.879, 0.623. There is larger variation in Pr10 comparing all methods and manual calculations allow for the closest fit to the data. Concordance correlation coefficients were pretreatment = 0.189 and post-treatment = 0.322. There were no gender differences in compliance measurements. Results of compliance are highly concordant amongst all models. However, computer-based or manual interpolations appear superior to power exponential models for estimating Pr10.