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Research project: Computerised lung sound analysis in healthy people and patients with COPD

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CALSA has been proposed as a new objective tool to record and analyse lung sounds. Lung sounds generated in the lungs are believed to relate to the size and shape of the airways. However, this relationship has yet to be explored. This programme of work will compare lung sound data with data from high resolution images of the airways in in healthy people and in patients with chronic lung disease.

The aim of this study is to explore potential relationships between lung sound characteristics measured by CALSA and airway dimensions measured by HRCT. The preliminary study included five subjects: one moderate stage COPD, 2 healthy non-smokers and 2 healthy smokers. Lung sound data was recorded using a digital stethoscope connected to a laptop computer equipped with customised MATLAB software (version 7.0). HRCT was measured using a Siemens Sensation 64 CT scanner with a high resolution reconstruction algorithm.

The preliminary analysis showed a trend of negative correlation between the two cycle duration (2CD) at left lower lobe (LLL) and airway diameter and perimeter at generation 3 (G3) of LLL and a trend of positive correlation between the number of crackles per respiratory cycle at LLL and branching angle (BA) at G3 of LLL. There was also a positive correlation between the 2CD at right upper lobe (RUL) and BA of G3 at RUL. However when the airways become smaller, there was a negative correlation between the 2CD at right lower lobe (RLL) and BA of G5 at RLL. Current results are unlikely to reject the alternative hypothesis that there is a relationship between added lung sound characteristics and the geometry of airways, but more evidence is required before this hypothesis can been accepted.

Project team

Dr Anne Bruton, Reader in Respiratory Rehabilitation, Dr Anna Barney, Senior Lecturer, Signal Processing and Control Group

Project funder

Government of Thailand

Related research groups

Active Living and Rehabilitation

Conferences and events associated with this project:

Faculty of Medicine, Health &Life Sciences Annual Postgraduate Conference 2010

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