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Detection of emetic activity in the cat by monitoring venous pressure and audio signalsTo investigate the use of audio signals as a simple, noninvasive measure of emetic activity, the relationship between the somatic events and sounds associated with retching and vomiting was studied. Thoracic venous pressure obtained from an implanted external jugular catheter was shown to provide a precise measure of the somatic events associated with retching and vomiting. Changes in thoracic venous pressure monitored through an indwelling external jugular catheter with audio signals, obtained from a microphone located above the animal in a test chamber, were compared. In addition, two independent observers visually monitored emetic episodes. Retching and vomiting were induced by injection of xylazine (0.66mg/kg s.c.), or by motion. A unique audio signal at a frequency of approximately 250 Hz is produced at the time of the negative thoracic venous pressure change associated with retching. Sounds with higher frequencies (around 2500 Hz) occur in conjunction with the positive pressure changes associated with vomiting. These specific signals could be discriminated reliably by individuals reviewing the audio recordings of the sessions. Retching and those emetic episodes associated with positive venous pressure changes were detected accurately by audio monitoring, with 90 percent of retches and 100 percent of emetic episodes correctly identified. Retching was detected more accurately (p is less than .05) by audio monitoring than by direct visual observation. However, with visual observation a few incidents in which stomach contents were expelled in the absence of positive pressure changes or detectable sounds were identified. These data suggest that in emetic situations, the expulsion of stomach contents may be accomplished by more than one neuromuscular system and that audio signals can be used to detect emetic episodes associated with thoracic venous pressure changes.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Nagahara, A.
(San Jose State Univ. CA., United States)
Fox, Robert A.
(San Jose State Univ. CA., United States)
Daunton, Nancy G.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Elfar, S.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Self-Motion Perception and Motion Sickness
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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