Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Uncertainty-aware non-invasive patient-ventilator asynchrony detection using latent Gaussian mixture generative classifier with noisy label correction
    Wang, C ; Luo, L ; Aickelin, U ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Howard, ME (SPRINGERNATURE, 2024-01-01)
    Abstract Patient–ventilator asynchrony (PVA) refers to instances where a mechanical ventilator’s cycles are desynchronised from the patient’s breathing efforts, and may result in patient discomfort and potential ineffective ventilation. Typically, they are identified with constant monitoring by trained clinicians. Such expertise is often limited; therefore, it is desirable to automate PVA detection with machine learning methods. However, there are three major challenges to applying machine learning to the problem: data collected from non-invasive ventilation are often noisy, there exists high variability between patients or between setting changes, and manual annotations of PVA events are not always consistent. To produce meaningful inference from such noisy data, a model needs to not only provide a measure of uncertainty, but also take into account potential inconsistencies in the training signal it is based on. In this work, we propose a conditional latent Gaussian mixture generative classifier with noisy label correction, which is capable of capturing variations within and between classes, providing well-calibrated class probabilities, detecting unlikely input instances that deviates from training data, while also taking into account possible mislabelling of event classes. We show that our model is able to match the performance of a well-tuned gradient boosting classifier, but also produce better calibrated predictions and smaller performance variability between patients.
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    Identification of Patient Ventilator Asynchrony in Physiological Data Through Integrating Machine-Learning
    Stell, A ; Caparo, E ; Wang, Z ; Wang, C ; Berlowitz, D ; Howard, M ; Sinnott, R ; Aickelin, U (SCITEPRESS - Science and Technology Publications, 2024)
    Patient Ventilator Asynchrony (PVA) occurs where a mechanical ventilator aiding a patient's breathing falls out of synchronisation with their breathing pattern. This de-synchronisation may cause patient distress and can lead to long-term negative clinical outcomes. Research into the causes and possible mitigations of PVA is currently conducted by clinical domain experts using manual methods, such as parsing entire sleep hypnograms visually, and identifying and tagging instances of PVA that they find. This process is very labour-intensive and can be error prone. This project aims to make this analysis more efficient, by using machine-learning approaches to automatically parse, classify, and suggest instances of PVA for ultimate confirmation by domain experts. The solution has been developed based on a retrospective dataset of intervention and control patients that were recruited to a non-invasive ventilation study. This achieves a specificity metric of over 90%. This paper describes the process of integrating the output of the machine learning into the bedside clinical monitoring system for production use in anticipation of a future clinical trial.
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    Prolonged Eyelid Closure Episodes during Sleep Deprivation in Professional Drivers
    Alvaro, PK ; Jackson, ML ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Swann, P ; Howard, ME (AMER ACAD SLEEP MEDICINE, 2016)
    STUDY OBJECTIVES: Real life ocular measures of drowsiness use average blink duration, amplitude and velocity of eyelid movements to reflect drowsiness in drivers. However, averaged data may conceal the variability in duration of eyelid closure episodes, and more prolonged episodes that indicate higher levels of drowsiness. The current study aimed to describe the frequency and duration of prolonged eyelid closure episodes during acute sleep deprivation. METHODS: Twenty male professional drivers (mean age ± standard deviation = 41.9 ± 8.3 years) were recruited from the Transport Workers Union newsletter and newspaper advertisements in Melbourne, Australia. Each participant underwent 24 hours of sleep deprivation and completed a simulated driving task (AusEd), the Psychomotor Vigilance Task, and the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. Eyelid closure episodes during the driving task were recorded and analyzed manually from digital video recordings. RESULTS: Eyelid closure episodes increased in frequency and duration with a median of zero s/h of eyelid closure after 3 h increasing to 34 s/h after 23 h awake. Eyelid closure episodes were short and infrequent from 3 to 14 h of wakefulness. After 17 h of sleep deprivation, longer and more frequent eyelid closure episodes began to occur. Episodes lasting from 7 seconds up to 18 seconds developed after 20 h of wakefulness. Length of eyelid closure episodes was moderately to highly correlated with the standard deviation of lateral lane position, braking reaction time, crashes, impaired vigilance, and subjective sleepiness. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency and duration of episodes of prolonged eyelid closure increases during acute sleep deprivation, with very prolonged episodes after 17 hours awake. Automated devices that assess drowsiness using averaged measures of eyelid closure episodes need to be able to detect prolonged eyelid closure episodes that occur during more severe sleep deprivation.
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    Rapidly and slowly progressive neuromuscular disease: differences in pulmonary function, respiratory tract infections and response to lung volume recruitment therapy (LVR)
    Sheers, NL ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Dirago, RK ; Naughton, P ; Henderson, S ; Rigoni, A ; Saravanan, K ; Rochford, P ; Howard, ME (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2022-12)
    INTRODUCTION: Reduced lung volumes are a hallmark of respiratory muscle weakness in neuromuscular disease (NMD). Low respiratory system compliance (Crs) may contribute to restriction and be amenable to lung volume recruitment (LVR) therapy. This study evaluated respiratory function and the immediate impact of LVR in rapidly progressive compared to slowly progressive NMD. METHODS: We compared vital capacity (VC), static lung volumes, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP, MEP), Crs and peak cough flow (PCF) in 80 adult participants with motor neuron disease ('MND'=27) and more slowly progressive NMDs ('other NMD'=53), pre and post a single session of LVR. Relationships between respiratory markers and a history of respiratory tract infections (RTI) were examined. RESULTS: Participants with other NMD had lower lung volumes and Crs but similar reduction in respiratory muscle strength compared with participants with MND (VC=1.30±0.77 vs 2.12±0.75 L, p<0.001; Crs=0.0331±0.0245 vs 0.0473±0.0241 L/cmH2O, p=0.024; MIP=39.8±21.3 vs 37.8±19.5 cmH2O). More participants with other NMD reported an RTI in the previous year (53% vs 22%, p=0.01). The likelihood of having a prior RTI was associated with baseline VC (%predicted) (OR=1.03 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.06), p=0.029). Published thresholds (VC<1.1 L or PCF<270 L/min) were, however, not associated with prior RTI.A single session of LVR improved Crs (mean (95% CI) increase = 0.0038 (0.0001 to 0.0075) L/cmH2O, p=0.047) but not VC. CONCLUSION: These findings corroborate the hypothesis that ventilatory restriction in NMD is related to weakness initially with respiratory system stiffness potentiating lung volume loss in slowly progressive disease. A single session of LVR can improve Crs. A randomised controlled trial of regular LVR is needed to assess longer-term effects.
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    Early Detection and Classification of Patient-Ventilator Asynchrony Using Machine Learning
    Gao, E ; Ristanoski, G ; Aickelin, U ; Berlowitz, D ; Howard, M ; Michalowski, M ; Abidi, SSR ; Abidi, S (SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, 2022)
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    P132 Research in the time of COVID-19: Recruitment to a clinical trial comparing models of NIV implementation in people with MND
    Sheers, N ; Howard, M ; Hannan, L ; Retica, S ; Berlowitz, D (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-10-07)
    Abstract Introduction A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) examining the feasibility of a new model of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) implementation was due to commence in early 2020. Based on previous research, it was anticipated that 100% of people with motor neurone disease (MND) would be eligible, 60% would consent to participate and 20 people would be randomised in five months. The aim of this report is to describe the impact of COVID-19 pandemic contingencies on trial recruitment. Methods Report of project progress, participant screening and recruitment. Results First reports of COVID-19 coincided with study commencement and changed usual healthcare delivery. Lockdowns meant telehealth substituted for face-to-face assessment, respiratory function testing was limited and/or patients were reluctant to seek medical treatment. This modified pathway impacted evaluation of diagnosis, timing of need for NIV and procedural safety, with patients then referred specifically for a single-day hospital NIV implementation to enable face-to-face multidisciplinary assessment to aid decisions. Of 81 potential participants screened in an 8-month period, 64% were ineligible for the RCT. Despite this shift in eligibility rate, 16 people with MND have been recruited as of May 2021. Conclusion The current climate has amplified the significance of this research trial; people with MND have had reduced access to face-to-face services globally and clinicians have had to quickly adapt to a changing landscape of telemedicine and remote monitoring of patients. This trial’s screening data suggest that COVID-19 hasn’t stopped people with MND being implemented on NIV, but it has altered assessment pathways.
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    Objective measurement of lung volume recruitment therapy: laboratory and clinical validation
    Naughton, PE ; Sheers, N ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Howard, ME ; McKim, DA ; Katz, SL (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021)
    Lung volume recruitment manoeuvres are often prescribed to maintain respiratory health in neuromuscular disease. Unfortunately, no current system accurately records delivered dose. This study determined the performance characteristics of a novel, objective, manual lung volume recruitment bag counter ('the counter') with bench and healthy volunteer testing, as well as in individuals with neuromuscular disease. We undertook (1) bench test determination of activation threshold, (2) bench and healthy volunteer fidelity testing during simulated patient interface leak and different pressure compressions and (3) comparisons with self-report in individuals with neuromuscular disease. The data are reported as summary statistics, compression counts, percentage of recorded versus delivered compressions and concordance (Cohen's kappa (K) and absolute agreement). RESULTS: Minimum counter activation pressure under conditions of zero leak was 1.9±0.4 cm H2O. No difference was observed between the number of repetitions delivered and recorded during high airway pressure condition. Interface leak approximating 25% resulted in underestimation of repetition counts, and once the leak was at 50% or beyond, the counter recorded no activity. Faster sampling frequency collected data with more fidelity. Counter data agreed with diary self-report during community trials (16 participants, 960 participant days, 77% agreement, Cohen's Κ=0.66 and p<0.001). Disagreement typically favoured more diary reported (18%) than counter (5%) sessions. CONCLUSIONS: The performance characteristics of a new lung volume recruitment counter have been established in both laboratory and community settings. Objective usage and dosage data should accelerate new knowledge development and better translation of lung volume recruitment therapy into policy and practice.
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    Respiratory adjuncts to NIV in neuromuscular disease
    Sheers, N ; Howard, ME ; Berlowitz, DJ (WILEY, 2019-06)
    Muscle weakness is an intrinsic feature of neuromuscular diseases (NMD). When the respiratory muscles are involved, the ability to take a deep breath is compromised, leading to reduced lung volumes and a restrictive ventilatory impairment. Inspiratory, expiratory and bulbar muscle weakness can also impair cough, which may impede secretion clearance. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is an established and indispensable therapy to manage hypoventilation and respiratory failure. The role of other therapies that support respiratory health is less clearly defined, and the evidence of efficacy is also harder to summarize as the underlying data are of a lesser quality. This narrative review appraises the evidence for respiratory therapies in adults with NMD and respiratory system involvement. Techniques that assist lung inflation and augment cough, such as lung volume recruitment (LVR) and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation (MI-E), are a particular focus of this review. The evidence suggests that LVR, MI-E and various combinations thereof have clinical utility generally, but important methodological limitations limit the strength of clinical recommendations and hamper the integration of evidence into practice. Future trials should prospectively assess the long-term impact of LVR and cough augmentation on clinical outcomes and burden of care in addition to lung mechanics, as well as determine clear predictors of benefit from these techniques.
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    Typical within and between person variability in non-invasive ventilator derived variables among clinically stable, long-term users
    Jeganathan, V ; Rautela, L ; Conti, S ; Saravanan, K ; Rigoni, A ; Graco, M ; Hannan, LM ; Howard, ME ; Berlowitz, DJ (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021)
    BACKGROUND: Despite increasing capacity to remotely monitor non-invasive ventilation (NIV), how remote data varies from day to day and person to person is poorly described. METHODS: Single-centre, 2-month, prospective study of clinically stable adults on long-term NIV which aimed to document NIV-device variability. Participants were switched to a ventilator with tele-monitoring capabilities. Ventilation settings and masking were not altered. Raw, extensible markup language data files were provided directly from Philips Respironics (EncoreAnywhere). A nested analysis of variance was conducted on each ventilator variable to apportion the relative variation between and within participants. RESULTS: Twenty-nine people were recruited (four withdrew, one had insufficient data for analyses; 1364 days of data). Mean age was 54.0 years (SD 18.4), 58.3% male with body mass index of 37.0 kg/m2 (13.7). Mean adherence was 8.53 (2.23) hours/day and all participants had adherence >4 hours/day. Variance in ventilator-derived indices was predominantly driven by differences between participants; usage (61% between vs 39% within), Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index (71% vs 29%), unintentional (64% vs 36%) and total leak (83% vs 17%), tidal volume (93% vs 7%), minute ventilation (92% vs 8%), respiratory rate (92% vs 8%) and percentage of triggered breaths (93% vs 7%). INTERPRETATION: In this clinically stable cohort, all device-derived indices were more varied between users than the day-to-day variation within individuals. We speculate that normative ranges and thresholds for clinical intervention need to be individualised, and further research is necessary to determine the clinically important relationships between clinician targets for therapy and patient-reported outcomes.
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    Pneumothorax in neuromuscular disease associated with lung volume recruitment and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation
    McDonald, LA ; Berlowitz, DJ ; Howard, ME ; Rautela, L ; Chao, C ; Sheers, N (WILEY, 2019-08)
    A 25-year-old male with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and a 73-year-old male with motor neurone disease both presented with chest pain and increasing dyspnoea following routine mechanical insufflation-exsufflation or lung volume recruitment, on a background of long-term non-invasive ventilation. In each case, chest radiograph revealed a pneumothorax. In both cases the pneumothorax fully resolved following insertion of an intercostal catheter. There was no immediate recurrence and the patients were discharged home and ceased ongoing prophylactic respiratory therapy, although one person had recurrent pneumothoraces subsequently. This rare but serious complication highlights the need for careful risk/benefit analysis by clinicians prescribing these therapies.