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Exploring the waveform characteristics of tidal breathing carbon dioxide, measured using the N-Tidal C device in different breathing conditions (The General Breathing Record Study): protocol for an observational, longitudinal study

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Background: In an increasingly comorbid population, there are significant challenges to diagnosing the cause of breathlessness, and once diagnosed, considerable difficulty in detecting deterioration early enough to provide effective intervention. The burden of the breathless patient on the health care economy is substantial, with asthma, chronic heart failure, and pneumonia affecting over 6 million people in the United Kingdom alone. Furthermore, these patients often have more than one contributory factor to their breathlessness symptoms, with conditions such as dysfunctional breathing pattern disorders—an under-recognized component. Current methods of diagnosing and monitoring breathless conditions can be extensive and difficult to perform. As a consequence, home monitoring is poorly complied with. In contrast, capnography (the measurement of tidal breath carbon dioxide) is performed during normal breathing. There is a need for a simple, easy-to-use, personal device that can aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory and cardiac causes of breathlessness.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the use of a new, handheld capnometer (called the N-Tidal C) in different conditions that cause breathlessness. We will study whether the tidal breath carbon dioxide (TBCO2) waveform, as measured by the N-Tidal C, has different characteristics in a range of respiratory and cardiac conditions.

Methods: We will perform a longitudinal, observational study of the TBCO2 waveform (capnogram) as measured by the N-Tidal C capnometer. Participants with a confirmed diagnosis of asthma, breathing pattern disorders, chronic heart failure, motor neurone disease, pneumonia, as well as volunteers with no history of lung disease will be asked to provide twice daily, 75-second TBCO2 collection via the N-Tidal C device for 6 months duration. The collated capnograms will be correlated with the underlying diagnosis and disease state (stable or exacerbation) to determine if there are different TBCO2 characteristics that can distinguish different respiratory and cardiac causes of breathlessness.

Results: This study’s recruitment is ongoing. It is anticipated that the results will be available in late 2018.

Conclusions: The General Breathing Record Study will provide an evaluation of the use of capnography as a diagnostic and home-monitoring tool for various diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere140
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2018


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