Even though real-time PCR has been broadly applied in biomedical sciences, data
processing procedures for the analysis of quantitative real-time PCR are still lacking; specifically in the realm of appropriate statistical treatment. Confidence interval and statistical significance
considerations are not explicit in many of the current data analysis approaches. Based on the
standard curve method and other useful data analysis methods, we present and compare four
statistical approaches and models for the analysis of real-time PCR data.
In the first approach, a multiple regression analysis model was developed to derive ΔΔCt
from estimation of interaction of gene and treatment effects. In the second approach, an ANCOVA(analysis of covariance) model was proposed, and the ΔΔCt can be derived from analysis of effects of variables. The other two models involve calculation ΔCt followed by a two group t-test and nonparametric analogous Wilcoxon test. SAS programs were developed for all four models and data output for analysis of a sample set are presented. In addition, a data quality control model was developed and implemented using SAS.
Practical statistical solutions with SAS programs were developed for real-time PCR
data and a sample dataset was analyzed with the SAS programs. The analysis using the various
models and programs yielded similar results. Data quality control and analysis procedures
presented here provide statistical elements for the estimation of the relative expression of genes using real-time PCR