Respiratory motion measured by respiratory inductance plethysmography often deviates from the sinusoidal pattern assumed in the traditional Lissajous figure (loop) analysis used to determine thoraco-abdominal asynchrony, or phase angle phi. We investigated six different time-domain methods of measuring phi, using simulated data with sinusoidal and triangular waveforms, phase shifts of 0-135 degrees, and 10% noise. The techniques were then used on data from 11 lightly anesthetized rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta; 7.6 +/- 0.8 kg; 5.7 +/- 0.5 years old), instrumented with a respiratory inductive plethysmograph, and subjected to increasing levels of inspiratory resistive loading ranging from 5-1,000 cmH(2)O. L(-1). sec(-1). The best results were obtained from cross-correlation and maximum linear correlation, with errors less than approximately 5 degrees from the actual phase angle in the simulated data. The worst performance was produced by the loop analysis, which in some cases was in error by more than 30 degrees. Compared to correlation, other analysis techniques performed at an intermediate level. Maximum linear correlation and cross-correlation produced similar results on the data collected from monkeys (SD of the difference, 4.1 degrees ) but all other techniques had a high SD of the difference compared to the correlation techniques. We conclude that phase angles are best measured using cross-correlation or maximum linear correlation, techniques that are independent of waveform shape, and robust in the presence of noise.
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