Circadian rhythm profiles in porcine ICU subjects

Katrina N Leyden, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston


Purpose: To explore the natural trajectory of circadian rhythms of sedation requirement, core body temperature (CBT), pulmonary mechanics (PM), and gas exchange (GE) in mechanically ventilated swine, as these variables affect the duration of mechanical ventilation. Design: A secondary analysis to describe and compare circadian rhythms of study variables in swine mechanically ventilated for ≤ 7 days. Setting: Porcine Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Sample: Six male swine. Methods: Sedation requirements were recorded hourly and the CBT, PM and GE variables were sampled every 1 s – 1 min for ≤ 7 days. The data sets for each pig with > 5 days ICU length of stay were divided into one section representing the first 3 days and one section representing subsequent days. The Lomb periodogram was used to estimate the circadian time period for each variable, and cosinor analysis with the estimated time period to obtain amplitude and mesor. Circadian to ultradian bandpower ratio to assess rhythm quality and stability over time and goodness-of-fit index to describe biological significance of a rhythm were used. Together, these two parameters were used to define rhythm robustness over time. The masking effect of sedation as a potential confounder of the circadian rhythms of CBT, PM, and GE was explored, and circadian rhythm profiles of CBT of pigs in the ICU setting were compared with those of the same pigs in the ambulatory setting. Results: All pigs had significant rhythms in CBT, respiratory rate, and peripheral oxygen saturation across ICU data sets. Healthier pigs had more robust rhythms of study variables over time. Sedation did not appear to mask the circadian rhythms of CBT, PM, and GE. The circadian rhythm of CBT was less robust in the ICU setting than in the ambulatory setting. Conclusions: Individual subject observations provided preliminary evidence that robustness of rhythms varies with subject acuity. Comparison of profiles of circadian rhythms among ICU subjects with similar acuity and disease processes is warranted to determine if the profiles in the present study are reproducible. Identification of consistent patterns may provide insight into subject morbidity and timing of such therapeutic interventions as weaning from mechanical ventilation.

Subject Area

Pharmacology|Statistics|Health sciences

Recommended Citation

Leyden, Katrina N, "Circadian rhythm profiles in porcine ICU subjects" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3535513.