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Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 67–74 | Cite as

A pilot study quantifying the shape of tidal breathing waveforms using centroids in health and COPD

  • E. M. Williams
  • T. Powell
  • M. Eriksen
  • P. Neill
  • R. Colasanti
Original Research

Abstract

During resting tidal breathing the shape of the expiratory airflow waveform differs with age and respiratory disease. While most studies quantifying these changes report time or volume specific metrics, few have concentrated on waveform shape or area parameters. The aim of this study was to derive and compare the centroid co-ordinates (the geometric centre) of inspiratory and expiratory flow–time and flow–volume waveforms collected from participants with or without COPD. The study does not aim to test the diagnostic potential of these metrics as an age matched control group would be required. Twenty-four participants with COPD and thirteen healthy participants who underwent spirometry had their resting tidal breathing recorded. The flow–time data was analysed using a Monte Carlo simulation to derive the inspiratory and expiratory flow–time and flow–volume centroid for each breath. A comparison of airflow waveforms show that in COPD, the breathing rate is faster (17 ± 4 vs 14 ± 3 min−1) and the time to reach peak expiratory flow shorter (0.6 ± 0.2 and 1.0 ± 0.4 s). The expiratory flow–time and flow–volume centroid is left-shifted with the increasing asymmetry of the expired airflow pattern induced by airway obstruction. This study shows that the degree of skew in expiratory airflow waveforms can be quantified using centroids.

Keywords

Flow–volume loop Spirometry Airflow obstruction Monte Carlo simulation 

Abbreviations

BF

Breathing rate (breaths min−1)

EFLT

Tidal expiratory flow limitation

FEC, FECC

Expiratory flow centroid, BF corrected expiratory flow centroid

FIC, FICC

Inspiratory flow centroid, BF corrected inspiratory flow centroid

FEV1

Forced expiratory flow in one second

FVC

Forced vital capacity

FVCR

Flow volume centroid ratio (FECC:VECC)

FVg

Expiratory flow/volume centroid

MCS

Monte Carlo simulation

PIF

Peak inspiratory flow (L s−1)

PEF

Peak expiratory flow (L s−1)

tEC, tECC

Expiratory time centroid, BF corrected expiratory time centroid

tIC, tICC

Inspiratory time centroid, BF corrected inspiratory time centroid

tI/tTOT

Inspiratory/total breath time

tPEF/tE

Post-peak expiratory flow/duration of expiration

tPPEF20

Change in post-peak expiratory flow at 20 % of expiration (°)

tPPEF80

Change in post-peak expiratory flow at 80 % of expiration (°)

VEC, VECC

Expiratory volume centroid, BF corrected expiratory volume centroid

VIC, VICC

Inspiratory volume centroid, BF corrected inspiratory volume centroid

Notes

Conflict of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Williams
    • 1
  • T. Powell
    • 1
  • M. Eriksen
    • 2
  • P. Neill
    • 3
  • R. Colasanti
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Life Sciences and EducationUniversity of South WalesPontypriddUK
  2. 2.Volusense ASOsloNorway
  3. 3.Royal Glamorgan HospitalLlantrisantWales, UK
  4. 4.Computation InstituteUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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