Skip to content

Sample Size Determination for Evaluation of Time Domain Heart Rate Variability Indices in Canine Lameness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-238
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jul 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Jul 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2018


Heart rate variability (HRV) is a physiologic phenomenon that occurs due to changing autonomic tone resulting in variable RR intervals. A reduction in HRV is used as an index of pain in neonatal human patients. Objective measures of pain would be valuable in the evaluation of canine patients and assessment of response to pain management strategies. We hypothesized that dogs with diseases associated with discomfort (osteoarthritis and bone neoplasia) would have reduced HRV compared with normal, healthy dogs. The aim of the study was to calculate the sample size necessary to investigate this hypothesis.
Seventeen dogs from the Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania patient population or owned by Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania staff were enrolled in this single-blind, prospective pilot study. A 30 min electrocardiogram (EKG) was obtained from each dog using an ambulatory electrocardiographic monitor. All EKGs were obtained between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EKGs were analyzed and time-domain HRV indices computed.
Sample size calculations suggest that 207 dogs would be necessary to ascertain if HRV is reduced in dogs experiencing discomfort or pain (50 in the arthritis group, 79 in the bone cancer group, and 78 in the control group).

    Research areas

  • Pain, Holter monitor

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via AAHA at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 158 KB, PDF document

    Licence: Unspecified


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups