Thoracoabdominal mobility evaluation by photogrammetry in newborns after expiratory flow increase technique
Abstract Introduction: Expiratory flow increase is a maneuver of respiratory physical therapy that promotes flow direction to the upper airways however, when applied in newborns, it may result in changes of thoracoabdominal mobility. Objective: To evaluate the thoracoabdominal mobility by photogrammetry in newborns after expiratory flow increase technique. Methods: Experimental blind study performed with newborns in supine position on a support table with upper limbs flexed, abducted and externally rotated and hip flexed at 110°. Adhesive markers were allocated for geometric delimitation of the thoracoabdominal compartment and expiratory flow increase technique was performed for 5 minutes with the therapist’s hands on the thorax and abdomen. Newborns were filmed before and after the maneuver and the frames were analyzed in AutoCAD® software by a blinded investigator at the time of the procedure. The largest and the smallest thoracoabdominal area were expressed in cm2 and the mean values were compared between two moments (pre and post maneuver) by paired t test. Results: Twenty newborns with a mean age of 39 weeks were included. Before the maneuver, thoracoabdominal area was 56.1 cm2 during expiration and 59.7 cm2 during inspiration, and after the maneuver the value was 56.2 cm2 during expiration and 59.8 cm2 during inspiration, with no statistical difference between before and after (p = 0.97, p = 0.92, respectively). Conclusion: Results demonstrate that expiratory flow increase technique does not seem to change thoracoabdominal mobility of healthy newborns.