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J Acoust Soc Am. 2002 Apr;111(4):1931-46.

Modeling sound transmission through the pulmonary system and chest with application to diagnosis of a collapsed lung.

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University of Illinois at Chicago, 60607, USA.


A theoretical and experimental study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of using audible-frequency vibro-acoustic waves for diagnosis of pneumothorax, a collapsed lung. The hypothesis was that the acoustic response of the chest to external excitation would change with this condition. In experimental canine studies, external acoustic energy was introduced into the trachea via an endotracheal tube. For the control (nonpneumothorax) state, it is hypothesized that sound waves primarily travel through the airways, couple to the lung parenchyma, and then are transmitted directly to the chest wall. In contradistinction, when a pneumothorax is present the intervening air presents an added barrier to efficient acoustic energy transfer. Theoretical models of sound transmission through the pulmonary system and chest region to the chest wall surface are developed to more clearly understand the mechanisms of intensity loss when a pneumothorax is present, relative to a baseline case. These models predict significant decreases in acoustic transmission strength when a pneumothorax is present, in qualitative agreement with experimental measurements. Development of the models, their extension via finite element analysis, and comparisons with experimental canine studies are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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