Case Report

The effects of prone and supine positions on the regional distribution of ventilation in infants and children using electrical impedance tomography

Alison Lupton-Smith, Andrew Argent, Peter Rimensberger, Brenda Morrow
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 71, No 1 | a237 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v71i1.237 | © 2015 Alison Lupton-Smith, Andrew Argent, Peter Rimensberger, Brenda Morrow | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 February 2015 | Published: 29 May 2015

About the author(s)

Alison Lupton-Smith, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Andrew Argent, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Paediatric Intensive, Care Unit, Red Cross War, Memorial Children’s Hospital, South Africa
Peter Rimensberger, Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Geneva, South Africa
Brenda Morrow, School of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Positioning of ill children is often used to optimise ventilation–perfusion matching, thereby improving oxygenation. Objectives: To determine the effects of supine and prone positions, and different head positions, on the distribution of ventilation in healthy, spontaneously breathing infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 9 years.

Methods: Electrical impedance tomography measurements were recorded from participants in supine and prone positions. Head positions included the head turned to the left and right in supine and prone positions, and in the midline in the supine position. Distribution of ventilation was described using end-expiratory–end-inspiratory relative impedance change.

Results: A total of 56 participants (boys = 31 [55%]; girls = 25 [45%]) were studied. The dorsal lung was significantly better ventilated than the ventral lung (P < 0.001) in both body positions. The majority of participants (83%) had greater ventilation in the dorsal lung in both positions, whilst five participants (10%) demonstrated consistently better ventilation in the non-dependent lung in both positions. Head position had no effect on the distribution of ventilation.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the distribution of ventilation in healthy, spontaneously breathing infants and children in supine and prone positions is not as straightforward as previously thought, with no clear reversal of the adult pattern evident.


Keywords

Electrical Impedance Tomography; Body Position; Infants and Children; Ventilation Distribution; Prone; Head Position

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Crossref Citations

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