Indexed on: 24 Mar '16Published on: 24 Mar '16Published in: PloS one
The pneumotachometer is currently the most accepted device to measure tidal breathing, however, it requires the use of a mouthpiece and thus alteration of spontaneous ventilation is implied. Respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP), which includes two belts, one thoracic and one abdominal, is able to determine spontaneous tidal breathing without the use of a facemask or mouthpiece, however, there are a number of as yet unresolved issues. In this study we aimed to describe and validate a new RIP method, relying on a combination of thoracic RIP and nasal pressure signals taking into account that exercise-induced body movements can easily contaminate RIP thoracic signals by generating tissue motion artifacts. A custom-made time domain algorithm that relies on the elimination of low amplitude artifacts was applied to the raw thoracic RIP signal. Determining this tidal ventilation allowed comparisons between the RIP signal and simultaneously-recorded airflow signals from a calibrated pneumotachometer (PT). We assessed 206 comparisons from 30 volunteers who were asked to breathe spontaneously at rest and during walking on the spot. Comparisons between RIP signals processed by our algorithm and PT showed highly significant correlations for tidal volume (Vt), inspiratory (Ti) and expiratory times (Te). Moreover, bias calculated using the Bland and Altman method were reasonably low for Vt and Ti (0.04 L and 0.02 s, respectively), and acceptable for Te (<0.1 s) and the intercept from regression relationships (0.01 L, 0.06 s, 0.17 s respectively). The Ti/Ttot and Vt/Ti ratios obtained with the two methods were also statistically correlated. We conclude that our methodology (filtering by our algorithm and calibrating with our calibration procedure) for thoracic RIP renders this technique sufficiently accurate to evaluate tidal ventilation variation at rest and during mild to moderate physical activity.