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Med Biol Eng Comput. 1995 Jul;33(4):571-4.

Sonic phase delay from trachea to chest wall: spatial and inhaled gas dependency.

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School of Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, IN 47907-1285, USA.


A parametric phase delay estimation technique is used to determine the spatial and inhaled gas composition dependencies of sound propagation time through an intact human lung at frequencies of 150-1200 Hz. Noise transmission measurements from the mouth to the extrathoracic trachea and six sites on the posterior chest wall are performed in 11 healthy adult subjects at resting lung volume after equilibration with air, an 80% helium-20% oxygen mixture, and an 80% sulfurhexafluoride-20% oxygen mixture. The phase delay, tau(f), exhibits a bilateral asymmetry with relatively decreased delays to the left posterior chest as compared with the right. The phase delay to lower lung sites is greater than to upper sites at frequencies below 300 Hz; yet the opposite is found at higher frequencies, indicating changing propagation pathways with frequency. There is no measurable effect of inhaled gas composition on tau(f) below 300 Hz. At higher frequencies, changes in tau(f) that reflect the relative sound speed of the particular inhaled gas are observed. These findings support and extend previous measurements and hypotheses concerning the strong frequency dependence of the acoustical properties of the intact respiratory system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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