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Clinical Investigations: ASTHMA |

Analysis of Tracheal Sounds During Forced Exhalation in Asthma Patients and Normal Subjects*: Bronchodilator Response Effect

José Antonio Fiz, MD, PhD; Raimon Jané, PhD; David Salvatella, MSc; José Izquierdo, MD; Luis Lores, MD; Pere Caminal, PhD; José Morera, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Pneumology Department (Drs. Fiz, Izquierdo, Lores, and Morera), Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, Badalona, Spain; and from the Department ESAII (Drs. Jané, Salvatella, and Caminal), Centre de Recerca en Enginyeria Biomèdica. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Correspondence to: Jose Antonio Fiz, MD, C/Canyet s/n, planta 11 Neumología, Badalona, Spain; e-mail: jafiz@ns.hugtip.scs.es



Chest. 1999;116(3):633-638. doi:10.1378/chest.116.3.633
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Purpose: During the past 10 years, the acoustic analysis of breath sounds has been used as a diagnostic tool in patients suffering from obstructive respiratory diseases. Acoustic analysis might be able to monitor the response to bronchodilator therapy in a clinical setting. So far, few studies have been carried out in asthmatic patients. To assess the responses of a sampling of asthma patients to an inhaled bronchodilator (terbutaline) by means of spectral analysis of the tracheal sound performed during forced expiratory maneuvers.

Material and methods: Seventeen nonsmoking asthma patients (9 were male, 8 were female) who had been suffering from the disease for ≥ 15 years were included in the study, as were 15 normal subjects (7 were male, 8 were female). The average age (± SD) was 56.5 ± 15.2 years (FVC, 2.7 ± 0.9 L[ 63.4%]; FEV1, 1.5 ± 0.6 L [53.0%]). The tracheal sounds were collected during three forced expiratory maneuvers with a sampling frequency of 5,000 Hz and were analyzed by applying a 16-parameter autoregressive model.

Results: The centroid frequency decreased after the bronchodilator was given at different flow segments between 1.2 and 0.4 L/s, with significant changes between 0.6 and 0.4 L/s.

Conclusions: Patients with asthma showed changes in the spectral acoustic analysis frequencies after the administration of a bronchodilator drug (terbutaline) during forced expiratory maneuvers.

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