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Tidal breathing flow volume profiles during sleep in wheezing infants measured by impedance pneumography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1418
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Overnight analysis of tidal breathing flow volume (TBFV) loops, recorded by impedance pneumography (IP), has been successfully applied in the home monitoring of children with wheezing disorders. However, little is known on how sleep physiology modifies the relationship between TBFV profiles and wheeze. We studied such interactions in wheezing infants. Forty-three infants recruited because of recurrent lower airway symptoms were divided into three groups based on their risk of asthma: high (HR), intermediate (IR), or low (LR). Sedated patients underwent infant lung function testing including assessment of airway responsiveness to methacholine at the hospital and a full-night recording of TBFV profiles at home with IP during natural sleep. Overnight TBFV indexes were estimated from periods of higher and lower respiration variability, presumably belonging to active [rapid eye movement (REM)] and quiet [non-REM (NREM)] sleep, respectively. From 35 valid recordings, absolute time indexes showed intrasubject sleep phase differences. Peak flow relative to time and volume was lower in HR compared with LR only during REM, suggesting altered expiratory control. Indexes estimating the concavity/convexity of flow decrease during exhalation suggested limited flow during passive exhale in HR compared with IR and LR, similarly during NREM and REM. Moreover, during REM convexity was negatively correlated with maximal flow at functional residual capacity and methacholine responsiveness. We conclude that TBFV profiles determined from overnight IP recordings vary because of sleep phase and asthma risk. Physiological changes during REM, most likely decrease in respiratory muscle tone, accentuate the changes in TBFV profiles caused by airway obstruction. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Impedance pneumography was used to investigate overnight tidal breathing flow volume (TBFV) indexes and their interactions with sleep phase [rapid eye movement (REM) vs. non-REM] at home in wheezing infants. The study shows that TBFV indexes vary significantly because of sleep phase and asthma risk of the infant and that during REM the changes in TBFV indexes caused by airway obstruction are accentuated and better associated with lung function of the infant.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland