Modeling nonsteady-state metabolism from arteriovenous data

Erica Manesso, Gianna M. Toffolo, Rita Basu, Robert A. Rizza, Claudio Cobelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The use of arteriovenous (AV) concentration differences to measure the production of a substance at organ/tissue level by Fick principle is limited to steady state. Out of steady state, there is the need, as originally proposed by Zierler, to account for the nonnegligible transit time of the substance through the system. Based on this theory, we propose a modeling approach that adopts a parametric description for production and transit time. Once the unknown parameters are estimated on AV data, the transition time of the substance can be assessed and production can be reconstructed. As a case study, we discuss the estimation of pancreatic insulin secretion during a meal from C-peptide concentrations measured in femoral artery and hepatic vein in 12 subjects. Results support the importance of accounting for nonnegligible transit times, even if C-peptide mean transit time across the splanchnic bed is rather limited (3.3 ± 1.3 min), it affects the estimation of pancreatic insulin secretion which shows a significantly different profile in the early portion of the postprandial period when estimated either with the novel modeling approach or with the simplified steady state equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5657245
Pages (from-to)1253-1259
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Arteriovenous (AV) measurements
  • beta cell function
  • insulin secretion
  • mean transit time
  • physiological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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