Measuring diaphragm movement and respiratory frequency using a novel ultrasound device in healthy volunteers

  • Håvard Andreassen SæverudEmail author
  • Ragnhild Sørum Falk
  • Adam Dowrick
  • Morten Eriksen
  • Sigurd Aarrestad
  • Ole Henning Skjønsberg
Original Paper



To evaluate the ability of a novel ultrasound (US) device, DiaMon, to monitor diaphragm movement via its proxy liver movement, and compare it with the respired flow measured with a flowmeter, in awake and healthy volunteers. We wanted to (1) establish the optimal anatomical position for attaching the DiaMon device to the abdominal wall, and (2) evaluate the accuracy of continuous monitoring of respiratory frequency.


Thirty healthy subjects were recruited. The DiaMon probe was applied subcostally in four different positions with the subjects in five different postures. The subjects breathed tidal volumes into a spirometer for 30–60 s with the DiaMon recording simultaneously.


The device detected a readable signal in 83–100% of the position/posture-combinations. The technical correlation between the two signals was highest in the anterior axillary-supine position (mean ± SD: 0.95 ± 0.03), followed by paramidline-supine (0.90 ± 0.09) and midclavicular-supine (0.89 ± 0.12). The frequency measurements yielded a mean difference of 0.03 (95% limits of agreement − 0.11, 0.16) breaths per minute in the anterior axillary-supine position.


The DiaMon device is able to detect liver movement in most subjects, and it measures breathing frequency accurately.


Ultrasound Diaphragm Respiration Non-invasive 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Two of the authors were employees at Respinor at the time of writing the article. Respinor contributed funds equivalent to 20% of the gross salary of the main author for the time used preparing the protocol and gathering the data. The authors have no other conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

40477_2019_412_MOESM1_ESM.tiff (22.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 22668 kb)


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary MedicineOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Research Support ServicesOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.RespinorOsloNorway
  4. 4.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Long Term Mechanical VentilationHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway

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