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Physiol Behav. 2015 Jan;138:247-53. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.10.034. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Comparison of Polar® RS800CX heart rate monitor and electrocardiogram for measuring inter-beat intervals in healthy dogs.

Author information

Uppsala University, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala, Sweden; Evidensia Djurkliniken Gefle, Gävle, Sweden. Electronic address:
Strömsund Health Centre, Jämtland County Council, Strömsund, Sweden; Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden.
Evidensia Djurkliniken Gefle, Gävle, Sweden.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
The Canine Fitness Centre, Calgary, Canada.
Uppsala University, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala, Sweden.


The aim of the present study was to assess the criterion validity, relative reliability and level of agreement of Polar® RS800CX heart rate monitor measuring inter-beat intervals (IBIs), compared to simultaneously recorded electrocardiogram (ECG) in dogs.


Five continuous minutes of simultaneously recorded IBIs from Polar® RS800CX and Cardiostore ECG in 11 adult healthy dogs maintaining standing position were analyzed. Polar® data was statistically compared to ECG data to assess for systematic differences between the methods. Three different methods for handling missing IBI data were used. Criterion validities were calculated by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Relative reliabilities and levels of agreement were calculated by ICCs and the Bland and Altman analysis for repeated measurements per subject.


Correlation coefficients between IBI data from ECG and Polar® RS800CX varied between 0.73 and 0.84 depending on how missing values were handled. Polar® was over- and underestimating IBI data compared to ECG. The mean difference in log transformed (base10) IBI data was 0.8%, and 93.2% of the values were within the limits of agreement. Internally excluding three subjects presenting IBI series containing more than 5% erroneous IBIs resulted in ICCs between 0.97 and 0.99. Bland and Altman analysis (n=8) showed mean difference was 1.8ms, and 98.5% of the IBI values were plotted inside limits of agreement.


This study showed that Polar® systematically biased recorded IBI series and that it was fundamental to detect measurement errors. For Polar® RS800CX heart rate monitor to be used interchangeably to ECG, by showing excellent criterion validity and reliable IBI measures in group and individual samples, only less than 5% of artifacts could be accepted.


Behavior; Dogs; Heart rate variability; Physiotherapy; Reliability; Validity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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