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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008 Sep;191(3):845-52. doi: 10.2214/AJR.07.3151.

Vibration response imaging technology in healthy subjects.

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Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Rambam Health Care Campus, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 8 Ha'Aliyah St., 35254 Haifa, Israel.



The vibration response imaging device that we studied (VRIxp) records the intensity and location of lung sounds during a cycle of breathing. The goals of this study were to describe the characteristic features and quantitative lung data recorded by the VRIxp device from healthy asymptomatic subjects.


Breath sounds (frequency range, 150-250 Hz) recorded from the backs of 151 healthy asymptomatic subjects (96 nonsmokers and 55 smokers) by the VRIxp device were mapped to create a sequence of 2D images. Three raters interpreted and scored the images for predefined static and dynamic features. In addition, quantitative lung data were analyzed for characteristic regional distributions.


The readers of the images had good inter- and intrarater agreement. Image development in 93% of the evaluations showed an inspiratory and expiratory phase with a progressive and regressive stage that developed bilaterally in a vertical and synchronized manner. Characteristic image features of the maximum energy frame included a smooth, rounded, uninterrupted contour and a planar distribution, area size, and intensity that had right-left symmetry. Quantitative lung data expressed as percentages of the total (100%) vibration energy were normally distributed with mean values (+/- SD) of 55% +/- 6% for the left lung and 45% +/- 6% for the right lung. Most of the subjects with images, quantitative lung data, or both lacking these typical features were cigarette smokers or had a history of smoking (p < 0.05).


Breath sounds in healthy asymptomatic subjects can be recorded and displayed in a dynamic series of images that have predictable and characteristic features recognizable and complemented by quantitative lung data. Identification and description of these characteristic image features in this study will facilitate future studies of vibration imaging in specific pulmonary diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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