Non-invasive analysis technique contributes to a better understanding of COPD

Some research published in PLOS ONE represents a new step towards translating IBEC’s basic research – specifically the novel signal processing and interpretation algorithms developed by Raimon Jané’s group – to clinical applications in hospitals.

The group collaborated with the Hospital del Mar-IMIM in Barcelona to tackle the current lack of instruments for assessing respiratory muscle activation during the breathing cycle in clinical conditions.

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Working together with the hospital’s Department of Respiratory Medicine, IBEC’s Biomedical Signal Processing and Interpretation group tested respiratory muscle mechanomyography (MMG) as a way to assess the mechanical activation of the inspiratory muscles of the lower chest wall in both patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and healthy subjects. This non-invasive method confirmed the relationship between inspiratory muscle activation characterised by a non-linear index (MLZ: multistate Lempel–Ziv) and pulmonary function parameters.

Their results suggest that respiratory muscle MMG is a good reflection of inspiratory effort, and could be used in clinical conditions to estimate the efficiency of the mechanical activation of the inspiratory muscles, contributing to a better understanding of breathing in COPD patients.

Source article: Sarlabous L, Torres A, Fiz JA, Martínez-Llorens JM, Gea J, Jané R (2017). Inspiratory muscle activation increases with COPD severity as confirmed by non-invasive mechanomyographic analysis. PLoS ONE 12(5): e01777300