Dynamic properties of body plethysmographs and effects on physiological parameters

J. John, B. Drefeldt, V. Taskar, C. Mansson, B. Jonson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A model incorporating compliance, resistance, inertia, and the thermal time constant of plethysmographs is used to describe the effect of its dynamic properties on measured respiratory parameters. Using numerical simulation we studied the effect of distortion of flow signals from 13 infants in whom flow and esophageal pressure had been recorded. The distortion in amplitude, shape, and timing of the recorded flow patterns was dependent on the dynamic properties of the plethysmograph. For constant- volume 'pressure' plethysmographs, errors of derived parameters such as compliance and resistance are very important if the thermal time constant is short. These errors are not corrected by calibrating the plethysmograph at the breathing frequency. Time correction of the flow signals in volume- displacement plethysmographs gives accurate results when the plethysmograph resistance and compliance are low. Overall, a volume-displacement plethysmograph with moderately high resistance of the flowmeter, corrected for internal pressure and inertia, gives the best possible results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • body plethysmography
  • inertia
  • pressure correction
  • thermal time constant
  • time correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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