Measurement of breath amplitudes: comparison of three noninvasive respiratory monitors to integrated pneumotachograph

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1993 Oct;16(4):254-8. doi: 10.1002/ppul.1950160408.


Measurement of breath amplitude (BA) and similarly tidal volume (VT) in newborn infants is the standard for detection of apnea and hypopneas. The purpose of our study was to compare the accuracy for BA by three frequently utilized noninvasive respiratory monitors: respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP), mercury in silastic strain gauges (SG), and impedance pneumography (IP). Twenty healthy full-term infants were studied in both supine and prone postures. The RC and AB gain factors for RIP were obtained using qualitative diagnostic calibration (QDC) procedure. The electrical gain of IP was set equivalent to the BA signal of a pneumotachograph (PNT). The three devices were calibrated in the supine posture and measurements were repeated in the prone posture without changing their calibration factors. Compared to PNT, postural change did not significantly alter BA measured by RIP. The accuracy of breath-to-breath BA measurement in the prone posture was worse for IP and SG compared to RIP and PNT. In contrast to SG or IP, the accuracy of BA measurement maintained was by RIP after a postural change from supine to prone in fullterm newborns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Plethysmography, Impedance
  • Posture
  • Respiration*