A statistical evaluation of the fixed dose procedure
Stallard, N. and Whitehead, A. (2004) A statistical evaluation of the fixed dose procedure. Human & Experimental Toxicology, 21 (4). 183-196 . ISSN 0960-3271
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1191/0960327102ht239oa
The fixed-dose procedure (FDP) was introduced as OECD Test Guideline 420 in 1992, as an alternative to the conventional median lethal dose (LD50) test for the assessment of acute oral toxicity (OECD Test Guideline 401). The FDP uses fewer animals and causes less suffering than the conventional test, while providing information on the acute toxicity to allow substances to be ranked according to the EU hazard classification system. Recently the FDP has been revised, with the aim of providing further reductions and refinements, and classification according to the criteria of the Globally Harmonized Hazard Classification and Labelling scheme (GHS). This paper describes the revised FDP and analyses its properties, as determined by a statistical modelling approach. The analysis shows that the revised FDP classifies substances for acute oral toxicity generally in the same, or a more stringent, hazard class as that based on the LD50 value, according to either the GHS or the EU classification scheme. The likelihood of achieving the same classification is greatest for substances with a steep dose-response curve and median toxic dose (TD50) close to the LD50. The revised FDP usually requires five or six animals with two or fewer dying as a result of treatment in most cases.