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Am J Physiol. 1992 Aug;263(2 Pt 1):E400-15.

Estimation of the rate of appearance in the non-steady state with a two-compartment model.

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Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Institute of System Dynamics and Bioengineering, Padua, Italy.


A simple tracer-based method for calculating the rate of appearance of endogenous substances in the non-steady state, free from the inconsistencies of Steele's equation, is still lacking. This paper presents a method based on a two-compartment model by which the rate of appearance can be calculated with only a modest increase in complexity over Steele's approach. An equation is developed where the rate of appearance is expressed as a sum of three terms: a steady-state term, a term for the first compartment, and a term for the second compartment. The formula employs three parameters and makes the relationship between rate of appearance and specific activity changes explicit. An equation is also provided for estimating the error of the method in each individual run. The algorithm can be implemented with a spreadsheet on a personal computer. Simulated and experimental data obtained by the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp technique were used as a test. The accuracy with which the time course of glucose production could be reconstructed was clearly better than that using Steele's equation. Marked negative values for endogenous glucose output were calculated with Steele's equation but not with the new method. The characteristics of generality, simplicity, and accuracy and the availability of an error estimate make this new method suitable for routine application to non-steady-state tracer analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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