BackgroundAssessing circadian rhythmicity from infrequently sampled data is challenging; however, these types of data are often encountered when measuring circadian transcripts in hospitalized patients.MethodsWe present ClinCirc. This method combines 2 existing mathematical methods (Lomb-Scargle periodogram and cosinor) sequentially and is designed to measure circadian oscillations from infrequently sampled clinical data. The accuracy of this method was compared against 9 other methods using simulated and frequently sampled biological data. ClinCirc was then evaluated in 13 intensive care unit (ICU) patients as well as in a separate cohort of 29 kidney-transplant recipients. Finally, the consequences of circadian alterations were investigated in a retrospective cohort of 726 kidney-transplant recipients.ResultsClinCirc had comparable performance to existing methods for analyzing simulated data or clock transcript expression of healthy volunteers. It had improved accuracy compared with the cosinor method in evaluating circadian parameters in PER2:luc cell lines. In ICU patients, it was the only method investigated to suggest that loss of circadian oscillations in the peripheral oscillator was associated with inflammation, a feature widely reported in animal models. Additionally, ClinCirc was able to detect other circadian alterations, including a phase shift following kidney transplantation that was associated with the administration of glucocorticoids. This phase shift could explain why a significant complication of kidney transplantation (delayed graft dysfunction) oscillates according to the time of day kidney transplantation is performed.ConclusionClinCirc analysis of the peripheral oscillator reveals important clinical associations in hospitalized patients.FundingUK Research and Innovation (UKRI), National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), National Institute on Academic Anaesthesia (NIAA), Asthma+Lung UK, Kidneys for Life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere162775
JournalThe Journal of clinical investigation
Issue number4
Early online date20 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • Algorithms
  • Cell Line
  • Circadian Rhythm/physiology
  • Glucocorticoids/pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Kidney Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies


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