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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Aug;67(2):889-93.

Liquid-filled esophageal catheter for measuring pleural pressure in preterm neonates.

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Service of Respiratory Medicine, Montreal Children's Hospital, Quebec, Canada.


The precise measurement of esophageal pressure (Pes) as a reflection of pleural pressure (Ppl) is crucial to the measurement of lung mechanics in the newborn. The fidelity of Pes as a measurement of Ppl is determined by the occlusion test in which, during respiratory efforts against an occlusion at the airway opening, changes in pressure (delta Pao) (Pao is assumed to be equal to alveolar pressure) are shown to be equal to changes in Pes (delta Pes). Eight intubated premature infants (640-3,700 g) with chest wall distortion were studied using a water-filled catheter system to measure Pes. During the occlusion test, all patients had a finite region of the esophagus where delta Pes equaled delta Pao, which corresponded to points in the esophagus above the cardia but below the carina. In conclusion, even in the presence of chest wall distortion, a liquid-filled catheter with the tip between the cardia and carina can provide an accurate measurement of Ppl, even in the very small premature infant with chest wall distortion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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