Portable measurement of maximum mouth pressures

Eur Respir J. 1994 Feb;7(2):398-401. doi: 10.1183/09031936.94.07020398.


We have compared a small portable mouth pressure meter (MPM) to our laboratory standard (LS) pressure recording equipment in order to evaluate this new device. The mouth pressure meter measures and displays as a digital read-out peak pressure for inspiratory and expiratory efforts. It samples the signal at 16 Hz, and an integral microprocessor is programmed to determine and display the maximum pressure averaged over one second both during inspiratory and expiratory manoeuvres (PImax and PEmax, respectively). A fine bore catheter connecting the mouthpiece of the mouth pressure meter to a Validyne pressure transducer enabled simultaneous measurement of pressure, which was analysed by LabVIEW, running on a Macintosh Quadra 700 computer. We studied 13 normal subjects and 11 patients with respiratory disease. Each subject performed inspiratory and five expiratory efforts. The values displayed from the mouth pressure meter were manually recorded. The mouth pressure meter reliably and accurately measured peak pressure and maximal pressure both for inspiratory and expiratory efforts in normals and patients. The mean +/- SD difference when compared with the Validyne method was 0.19 +/- 0.12 and -0.04 +/- 0.12 kPa, for PImax and PEmax, respectively. This portable device should be useful to measure mouth pressures, not only in the routine lung function laboratory but also at the bedside and in the clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Respiratory Function Tests / instrumentation*
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*