Lung sound analysis in the diagnosis of obstructive airway disease.
Authors: Wang Z, Jean S, Bartter T
BACKGROUND: Dyspnea is prevalent and has a broad differential diagnosis. Difficulty in determining the correct etiology can delay proper treatment. Non-invasively obtained acoustic signals may offer benefit in identifying patients with dyspnea due to obstructive airway disease (OAD). OBJECTIVES: The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether patients with acute dyspnea due to OAD had distinguishing features when studied with a computerized acoustic-based imaging technique. METHODS: Respiratory sounds from patients with dyspnea due to OAD (n = 32) and those with dyspnea not due to OAD (n = 39) were studied and compared with normal controls (n = 16). RESULTS: In patients without OAD and in controls, the ratios of peak inspiratory to peak expiratory vibration energy values (peak I/E vibration ratio) were remarkably similar, 6.3 +/- 5.1 and 5.6 +/- 4, respectively. For the OAD patients, the peak I/E vibration ratio was significantly lower at 1.3 +/- 0.04 (p < 0.01). In the patients without OAD and the controls, the ratios of inspiratory time to expiratory time (I/E time ratio) were again similar, 1.0 +/- 0.1 and 0.99 +/- 0.11, respectively. For the OAD patients, the I/E time ratio was significantly lower at 0.72 +/- 0.19 (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This modality was useful in identifying patients whose dyspnea was due to OAD. The ability to objectively and non-invasively measure these differences may prove clinically useful in distinguishing the operant physiology in patients presenting with acute dyspnea.
PMID: 19033680 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]