Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-1995

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)


Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Stanley S. Reisman

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Peter Engler


In this study, a device that measures respiratory tidal volume and ECG for use in heart rate variability studies, was designed, built and tested. The device developed is a Multi-Lead Trans-Thoracic Impedance Pneumograph, which determines tidal volume on a breath by breath basis, utilizing both hardware and software. It uses standard ECG electrodes which provide increased comfort and inability to the subject over traditional spirometry methods. The device operates similar to traditional bipolar impedance pneumographs except that instead of only one lead (electrode pair), four leads are acquired simultaneously using time-division multiplexing; providing data from different locations and vectors on the subjects chest.

Respiration, ECG and spirometry data were collected using the device from 6 normal, healthy subjects for several trials of normal and paced breathing. Results were correlated against the spirometry data to determine whether sufficient data are provided by the four leads and also to determine the accuracy of the device. It was concluded that combining data from all 4 leads using generalized additive modeling results in correlations in the range of 0.8 - 1.0, but more investigation is needed to determine usefulness in actual HRV applications.



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