Tidal volume measurements in newborns using respiratory inductive plethysmography

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1993 Sep;148(3):585-88. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/148.3.585.


Respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) is a well-accepted noninvasive technology for monitoring breathing patterns in adults. Prior attempts to calibrate this device in babies have been fraught with technical difficulties, thereby limiting applications in this population. Recently, a new method, qualitative diagnostic calibration (QDC), has been shown to provide accurate calibration of tidal volume in adults. The QDC method is based upon principles of the isovolume maneuver and carried out during natural breathing without specialized respiratory maneuvers or postural changes. We calibrated RIP with QDC in the supine posture and compared tidal volume (VT) measured with RIP to VT by a face mask-pneumotachograph (PNT) in 21 healthy full-term newborns in supine and prone postures. Eleven of the babies were calibrated during active sleep and 10 in quiet sleep. The mean VT in the supine and prone postures were 19 and 25 ml, respectively. In the supine and prone postures, weighted mean difference between RIP (VT) and PNT (VT) and 95% confidence intervals were -0.05 ml (-0.27, 0.18) and -0.32 ml (-0.08, 0.55), respectively. There was no difference in the accuracy of RIP relative to PNT calibrated during active sleep when thoracoabdominal incoordination was present or quiet sleep when it was not in either the supine or the prone postures. Therefore, in full-term infants, RIP calibrated with QDC solely in the supine posture provides clinically acceptable measurements of VT in both supine and prone postures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Calibration
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Plethysmography / instrumentation
  • Plethysmography / methods*
  • Plethysmography / statistics & numerical data
  • Posture / physiology
  • Respiratory Function Tests / instrumentation
  • Respiratory Function Tests / methods*
  • Respiratory Function Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Tidal Volume*
  • Transducers, Pressure