Calculation of plantar pressure time integral, an alternative approach.

T. Melai*, T.H. Ijzerman, N.C. Schaper, T.L. De Lange, P.J. Willems, K. Meijer, A.G. Lieverse, H.H. Savelberg

*Corresponding author for this work

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In plantar pressure measurement, both peak pressure and pressure time integral are used as variables to assess plantar loading. However, pressure time integral shows a high concordance with peak pressure. Many researchers and clinicians use Novel software (Novel GmbH Inc., Munich, Germany) that calculates this variable as the summation of the products of peak pressure and duration per time sample, which is not a genuine integral of pressure over time. Therefore, an alternative calculation method was introduced. The aim of this study was to explore the relevance of this alternative method, in different populations. Plantar pressure variables were measured in 76 people with diabetic polyneuropathy, 33 diabetic controls without polyneuropathy and 19 healthy subjects. Peak pressure and pressure time integral were obtained using Novel software. The quotient of the genuine force time integral over contact area was obtained as the alternative pressure time integral calculation. This new alternative method correlated less with peak pressure than the pressure time integral as calculated by Novel. The two methods differed significantly and these differences varied between the foot sole areas and between groups. The largest differences were found under the metatarsal heads in the group with diabetic polyneuropathy. From a theoretical perspective, the alternative approach provides a more valid calculation of the pressure time integral. In addition, this study showed that the alternative calculation is of added value, along peak pressure calculation, to interpret adapted plantar pressures patterns in particular in patients at risk for foot ulceration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
JournalGait & Posture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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