A fully automated (PC compatible) software and hardware analysis system has been designed and developed to analyse colonic pressure records quickly and objectively. Eight hours of colonic pressure trace was analysed in 48 10 minute epochs manually and by computer for the variables of mean amplitude, % duration of activity, motility index, number of peaks and activity index. Agreement between methods was good for mean amplitude: (bias -0.5 mmHg; (36.8) (2 SD, limits of agreement); -5.8 to 4.8, 95% CI of bias; 0-289, average range of values by both methods), % duration of activity: (-0.9; (13.4); -2.9 to 0.9; 0-100), motility index: (-55; (2072); -356 to 245; 0-26,220), number of peaks: (-20; (91); -44 to 3.5; 1-211), and activity index bias -5.2 mmHg. min; (127.3); -23.7, to 13.2; 0-2159. The time taken for manual analysis was 889 minutes compared with 14 minutes for the automated system. Fully automated analysis of colonic pressure records is fast, objective, and shows good agreement with labour intensive manual analysis. Previously acquired data can be reanalysed using new definitions and criteria. Widespread use of the technique could introduce uniformity in colonic pressure record analysis. In addition this wave form analysis system can be adapted to record and analyse pressure data from other regions of the gastrointestinal tract.
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