Allometric scaling of diameter change in the original flow-mediated dilation protocol

Greg Atkinson, Alan M. Batterham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    The negative correlation between percent flow-mediated dilation (FMD%) and baseline diameter (Dbase) has only recently been recognised as a fundamental ratio-scaling problem, which is not resolved by significance-testing of Dbase inequality between groups/conditions, nor by covariate-adjusting FMD% itself by Dbase. It is resolved appropriately by allometric scaling of the relationship between peak diameter (Dpeak) and Dbase using statistical models. Therefore, we extracted data from a seminal study on FMD%, and re-analysed it using allometric methods. We found that Dpeak did not increase as a constant proportion of Dbase, rendering FMD% a biased estimator of differences in endothelial function between artery sites (brachial vs femoral) and age-groups (children vs. adults). The allometric expression was Dpeak/Dbase≈ 0.90, rather than a simple ratio. In agreement with our previous research, a proper allometric perspective on FMD led to unbiased estimates of endothelial function, with full adjustment for the influence of baseline diameter.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)425-427
    Number of pages3
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


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