TitleSample size calculation in metabolic phenotyping studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBilloir E, Navratil V, Blaise BJ
JournalBrief Bioinform
Date PublishedSep
Keywordschemometrics, metabolic phenotyping, sample size determination

The number of samples needed to identify significant effects is a key question in biomedical studies, with consequences on experimental designs, costs and potential discoveries. In metabolic phenotyping studies, sample size determination remains a complex step. This is due particularly to the multiple hypothesis-testing framework and the top-down hypothesis-free approach, with no a priori known metabolic target. Until now, there was no standard procedure available to address this purpose. In this review, we discuss sample size estimation procedures for metabolic phenotyping studies. We release an automated implementation of the Data-driven Sample size Determination (DSD) algorithm for MATLAB and GNU Octave. Original research concerning DSD was published elsewhere. DSD allows the determination of an optimized sample size in metabolic phenotyping studies. The procedure uses analytical data only from a small pilot cohort to generate an expanded data set. The statistical recoupling of variables procedure is used to identify metabolic variables, and their intensity distributions are estimated by Kernel smoothing or log-normal density fitting. Statistically significant metabolic variations are evaluated using the Benjamini-Yekutieli correction and processed for data sets of various sizes. Optimal sample size determination is achieved in a context of biomarker discovery (at least one statistically significant variation) or metabolic exploration (a maximum of statistically significant variations). DSD toolbox is encoded in MATLAB R2008A (Mathworks, Natick, MA) for Kernel and log-normal estimates, and in GNU Octave for log-normal estimates (Kernel density estimates are not robust enough in GNU octave). It is available at http://www.prabi.fr/redmine/projects/dsd/repository, with a tutorial at http://www.prabi.fr/redmine/projects/dsd/wiki.

PubMed ID25600654