MedStat Stutter

Phantasies of a physicist fallen among physicians

Gastric emptying can be recorded by scintigraphy or by MRI techniques. Scintigraphy returns times series data of the meal volume, MRI gives the total content of the stomach, which includes meal and secretion. To quantify secretion and emptying in clinical studies, non-linear curves are fitted to the time series, which can give strange results. When the ballot fails, the bazaar comes to the rescue.

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A colleague asked me how to present the results of a study in gastric emptying. As you have seen multiple time here, the emptying time t50 is the target variable. But read on even if you work with blood pressure (also often misused as example), rehabilitation, or pharmacology. The methods are the sa...

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The title is stolen from Dijkstra.

Papers submitted to medical journals below the top rank are most often reviewed by medical reviewers who have used the Wilcoxon test as a catch-all in their active days. To smuggle a paper though their phalanx, garnish it generously with:

  • p-values
  • Wilcoxon-...

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The coefficients of linexp fits to gastric emptying curves are generally used in mixed-models to analyze group and meal difference. The distribution of the extracted parameters is often highly skewed, so before using linear models or estimates of reference ranges with functions in package referenceInterval or Hmisc, a transformation might be required.

From a large corpus of gastric emptying curves analyzed with nonlinear fits of the linexp function, the following recommendations for transformation were obtained using the boxcox and the logtrans function in package MASS:

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