Allergy and Airway |

Breath Sounds in Asymptomatic Individuals Exposed to Air Pollutants: A Frequency Analysis FREE TO VIEW

Ilina Krishen; Mary Lynn Zaremba, MSN; Kristin Elliott, MSN; Sridhar Reddy, MPH
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St. Clair Pulmonary and Critical Care, Port Huron, MI

Chest. 2014;146(4_MeetingAbstracts):43A. doi:10.1378/chest.1989286
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SESSION TITLE: COPD Treatment Posters

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: Asymptomatic individuals may not seek medical attention despite early lung damage from exposure to air pollutants. We sought to determine the utility of a digital stethoscope in detecting early lung damage in individuals exposed to noxious air pollutants.

METHODS: Study participants were given a questionnaire to determine the absence of symptoms and their pollutant exposure. They were recruited from the local fire department and a medical practice in a small community. Participants were divided into three groups smokers (n=16), firefighters (n=13) and non-smokers (n=25). A single breath for each hemithorax was recorded using a digital stethoscope. Fast Fourier transformation was done using Mathlab software. Frequency peaks were used to subsequently analyze the amplitude frequency distribution of breath sounds. Differences of peaks above 125 Hz were analyzed using student T-test.

RESULTS: Using a cut off of 125 Hz the number of peaks were higher in smokers vs. non-smokers and was statistically significant (p=.013). Firefighters also showed a higher number of peaks when compared to non-smokers (p=.002). There was no significant difference between the number of peaks above 125 Hz between firefighters and smokers (p=.70). In addition there was a rightward shift in the average frequency of the breath sounds with the normal being 52.8 Hz and smokers 65.9 Hz (p=0.028) and firefighters 66.6 Hz (p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Early detection of lung disease is key to prevention of further damage in vulnerable individuals when exposed to noxious air pollutants. Sound frequency analysis using a digital stethoscope may be used to detect early changes in lung function in asymptomatic individuals.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Sound frequency analysis using a digital stethoscope may be a useful technique in identifying individuals vulnerable to cigarette smoke. This may have important public health implications as it can be used as an effective screening tool. This may also be used as part of a comprehensive screening protocol in workplaces with significant airborne toxin exposure.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Ilina Krishen, Mary Lynn Zaremba, Kristin Elliott, Sridhar Reddy

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