American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

During recent years there has been increasing interest in the measurement of tidal breathing parameters, such as the time to reach peak tidal expiratory flow as a proportion of total expiratory time (TPTEF:TE), and their application to population-based studies of the determinants of early respiratory morbidity. However, little is known about factors influencing the within and between-subject variability of these parameters. This study examines the influence of sedation on TPTEF:TE, estimates the optimal number of breaths and breath epochs required to measure TPTEF:TE, and assesses short-term repeatability of this parameter during the first year of life, taking account of age-related differences. Measurements were made in 266 healthy infants and young children (1 d to 19 mo old). Mean (SD) TPTEF:TE fell from 0.49 (0.11) in the first 2 wk of life to 0.34 (0.09) by 5 to 8 wk, remaining similar thereafter. Sedation with triclofos sodium (75 mg/kg) had no significant effect on TPTEF:TE, which was 0.33 (0.10) in 23 unsedated 6-wk-old infants and 0.32 (0.08) in 49 sedated infants of similar age and weight (95% CI for the difference: -0.05, 0.04). At least 10 breaths in each of two separate epochs from each infant were required to provide a representative estimate of TPTEF:TE. The mean (SD) difference between repeat measurements made 5 to 108 min apart was 0.02 (0.08) in 34 infants younger than 6 wk of age (95% limits of agreement: -0.15, 0.18) and -0.01 (0.04) (95% limits of agreement -0.09, 0.08) in 30 infants 6 wk and older.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

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