Effect of Airflow Rate on Vibration Response Imaging in Normal Lungs

Meirav Yosef1 , Ruben Langer1, Shaul Lev2, Yael A. Glickman*, 1
1 Deep Breeze, Ltd., 2 Hailan St., P.O. Box 140, Or-Akiva, 30600, Israel
2 Department of General Intensive Care, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, 39 Jabotinski St., Petach Tikva, 49100, Israel

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© Yosef et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Deep Breeze, Ltd., 2 Hailan St., P.O. Box 140, Or-Akiva, 30600, Israel; Tel: +972 4 6266650, Ext. #227; Fax: +972 4 6266653; E-mail:


Background: Evaluating the effect of airflow rate on amplitude of lung sound energy and regional distributionof lung sounds may assist in the interpretation of computerized acoustic measurements.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of airflow rate on Vibration Response Imaging (VRI) measurement in healthy lungs.

Methods: Lung sounds were recorded from 20 healthy adults in the frequency range of 150-250 Hz using 40 piezoelectric sensors positioned on the posterior chest wall. During the recordings, subjects were breathing at airflow rates ranging between 0.3 and 1.7L/s. Online visual feedback was provided using a pneumotach mouthpiece

Results: Amplitude of lung sound energy significantly increased with increasing airflow rate (p<0.00001, Friedman test). A strong relationship (R2=0.95) was obtained between amplitude of lung sound energy at peak inspiration and airflow rate raised to the third power. This correlation did not significantly affect normalized lung sound distribution maps at peak inspiration, especially when airflow was higher than 1.0L/s. Acoustic maps obtained at airflow rates below 0.7L/s differed from those recorded above 1.0L/s (p<0.05, Wilcoxon matched-paired signed-ranks test).

Conclusion: These findings may be of importance when comparing healthy and diseased lungs or when monitoring changes in lung sounds during treatment follow-up.

Keywords:: Lung sounds, airflow rate, VRI., regional ventilation distribution., acoustic energy., acoustic map..