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The variation of acoustic attenuation with lung density was determined in experimental studies on seven healthy human volunteers, using a change of lung volume as a means of varying lung density. White noise between 50 and 680 Hz was introduced into the mouth and the transmitted signals were recorded with four microphones on the posterior chest wall (left/right, top/base) at 24, 40, 60 and 80% of total lung capacity. The change in lung volume had a frequency-dependent effect on acoustic attenuation in all subjects. A frequency between 177 and 243 Hz was identified, where altering the lung volume between 24 and 80% of total lung capacity induced a change in attenuation of only 1.0 (+/-0.5) to 2.7 (+/-1.8) dB, while at a frequency of 364-436 Hz marked variations in attenuation 8.9 (+/-2.0) to 21.5 (+/-4.8) dB occurred with similar lung volume changes.


Journal article


Physiol Meas

Publication Date





233 - 243


Acoustics, Adolescent, Adult, Functional Residual Capacity, Humans, Lung Volume Measurements, Male, Respiratory Sounds