The respiratory volume monitor (RVM) (ExSpiron, Respiratory Motion Inc, Watertown, MA) uses thoracic impedance technology to noninvasively and continuously measure tidal volume (TV), respiratory rate (RR), and minute ventilation (MV). We aimed to validate the accuracy of the RVM to assess ventilation in neonates and infants by comparing it to spirometry.
We used the RVM and Respironics NM3 spirometer (Respironics NM3 Respiratory Profile Monitor, Philips Healthcare, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) to record simultaneous and continuous measurements of MV, TV, and RR. The RVM measurements, with and without external calibration, were compared to the Respironics NM3 spirometer using Bland-Altman analysis. The relative errors (Bland-Altman) between RVM and Respironics NM3 were calculated and used to compute individual patient bias, precision, and accuracy as the mean error, the standard deviation (SD) of the error, and the root mean square error. Bland-Altman limits of agreement (LoA) were computed, and equivalence tests were performed.
Forty patients were studied to compare the RVM and Respironics NM3 measurements. The mean difference (ie, bias) for MV was 1.8% with 95% LoA, defined as mean ± 1.96 SD, in the range of −12.1% to 15.7%. Similarly, the mean difference (ie, bias) for TV and RR was 1.2% (95% LoA, −11.0% to 13.5%) and 0.6% (95% LoA, −3.7% to 5.0%), respectively. The mean measurement precision of the RVM relative to the Respironics NM3 for MV, TV, and RR was 10.8%, 8.9%, and 8.4%, respectively. The mean measurement accuracy for MV, TV, and RR across patients was 11.0%, 9.7%, and 7.1%, respectively.
The data demonstrate that the RVM measures TV and MV in this cohort with an average relative error of 11% when using patient calibration and 16.9% without patient calibration. The average relative error of RR was 7.1%. The RVM provides accurate measurement of RR, TV, and MV in mechanically ventilated neonates and infants.