Vibration response imaging: protocol for a systematic review.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Systematic reviews, 2013, 2 pp. 86 - ?
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The concept of lung sounds conveying information regarding lung physiology has been used extensively in clinical practice, particularly with physical auscultation using a stethoscope. Advances in computer technology have facilitated the construction of dynamic visual images derived from recorded lung sounds. Arguably, the most significant progress in this field was the development of the commercially available vibration response imaging (VRI) (Deep Breeze Ltd, Or-Akiva, Israel). This device provides a non-invasive, dynamic image of both lungs constructed from sounds detected from the lungs using surface sensors. In the literature, VRI has been utilized in a multitude of clinical and research settings. This systematic review aims to address three study questions relating to whether VRI can be used as an evaluative device, whether the images generated can be characterized, and which tools and measures have been used to assess these images. This systematic review will involve implementing search strategies in five online journal databases in order to extract articles relating to the application of VRI. Appropriate articles will be identified against a set of pre-determined eligibility criteria and assessed for methodological quality using a standardized scale. Included articles will have data extracted by the reviewers using a standardized evidence table. A narrative synthesis based on a standardized framework will be conducted, clustering evidence into three main groups; one for each of the study questions. A meta-analysis will be conducted if two or more research articles meet pre-determined criteria that allow quantitative synthesis to take place. This systematic review aims to provide a complete overview of the scope of VRI in the clinical and research settings, as well as to discuss methods to interpret the data obtained from VRI. The systematic review intends to help clinicians to make informed decisions on the clinical applicability of the device, to allow researchers to identify further potential avenues of investigation, and to provide methods for the evaluation and interpretation of dynamic and static images. The publication and registration of this review with PROSPERO provides transparency and accountability, and facilitates the appraisal of the proposed systematic review against the original design. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013003751.
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