Measurement of tidal flow using a transit-time ultrasonic breath analyser

E.M. Williams, S.L.M. Burrough, H. McPeak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of the Transit-time Ultrasonic Breath Analyser (TUBA, GHG Medical Electronics GMBH, Zurich, Switzerland) to measure peak flow and tidal volume in the laboratory was tested using a variety of flow and pressure conditions, chosen to simulate the respiratory patterns of patients receiving mechanical ventilatory support. A stable zero baseline was achieved by acoustic damping of the TUBA flow sensor head. A piston pump was used to generate sinusoidal-flow pattern, with a peak flow range from 0.1 to 1.5 l.s-1. The calculated peak flow matched the peak flow measured by the TUBA. The TUBA accurately measured tidal volumes (±10%) delivered using three different flow patterns over a range of volumes from 0.25 to 1 l. We conclude, that once modified, the TUBA can provide an accurate measurement of peak flow and tidal volume over a range of values likely to be encountered during mechanical ventilation of the lungs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-432
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Equipment
  • Flow meter
  • Monitoring
  • Peak flow rate
  • Tidal volume
  • Ultrasonic
  • airway pressure
  • article
  • assisted ventilation
  • breath analysis
  • diagnostic accuracy
  • flowmeter
  • measurement
  • patient monitoring
  • peak expiratory flow
  • simulation
  • tidal volume
  • ultrasound


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