The respiratory movement measuring instrument (RMMI) is a laser-based non-invasive technique to measure breathing patterns and respiratory movements (RMs). Little knowledge is known about the ability of the RMMI to measure breathing patterns and the correlation between RMs and breathing volumes. One aim was to investigate whether the RMMI could discriminate between normal versus abdominal versus high costal breathing patterns in different body positions. A second aim was to determine the correlation between RMs and breathing volumes in different body positions. Twenty adult, healthy subjects (10 women) were included in the study. The RMMI was used to study the above-mentioned breathing patterns in supine, sitting and standing positions. A subgroup of 12 subjects (6 women) simultaneously performed measurements of breathing volumes while RMs were recorded. The RMMI was able to discriminate between different breathing patterns in different body positions (P<0·001). The upper thoracic contribution to RMs in the sitting position was 47% for natural breathing, 32% for abdominal breathing and 64% for high costal breathing; similar results were found in the supine and standing positions. A strong correlation was observed between RMs as measured by the RMMI and different breathing volumes in all three body positions (Spearman’s rho 0·86-1·00).
The RMMI can be used to measure and analyse different breathing patterns in different body positions, and the correlation between measured RMs and breathing volumes is strong.