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Evaluation of a Respiration Rate Sensor for Recording Tidal Volume in Calves under Field Conditions

In the assessment of pulmonary function in health and disease, both respiration rate (RR) and tidal volume (Vt) are fundamental parameters of spontaneous breathing. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether an RR sensor, which was previously developed for cattle, is suitable for additional measurements of Vt in calves. This new method would offer the opportunity to measure Vt continuously in freely moving animals. To measure Vt noninvasively, the application of a Lilly-type pneumotachograph implanted in the impulse oscillometry system (IOS) was used as the gold standard method. For this purpose, we applied both measuring devices in different orders successively, for 2 days on 10 healthy calves. However, the Vt equivalent (RR sensor) could not be converted into a true volume in mL or L. For a reliable recording of the Vt equivalent, a technical revision of the RR sensor excluding artifacts is required. In conclusion, converting the pressure signal of the RR sensor into a flow equivalent, and subsequently into a volume equivalent, by a comprehensive analysis, provides the basis for further improvement of the measuring system.



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