Background: The aim of this study was to construct an electronic bowel sound recording system and
determine its usefulness for the diagnosis of appendicitis, mechanical ileus and diffuse peritonitis.
Materials and methods: A group of 67 subjects aged 17 to 88 years including 15 controls was examined.
Bowel sounds were recorded using an electret microphone placed on the right side of the hypogastrium
and connected to a laptop computer. The method of adjustable grids (converted into binary matrices)
was used for bowel sounds analysis.
Results: Significantly, fewer (p ≤ 0.05) sounds were found in the mechanical ileus (1004.4) and diffuse
peritonitis (466.3) groups than in the controls (2179.3). After superimposing adjustable binary matrices
on combined sounds (interval between sounds <0.01 s), significant relationships (p ≤ 0.05) were found
between particular positions in the matrices (row-column) and the patient groups. These included
the A1_T1 and A1_T2 positions and mechanical ileus as well as the A1_T2 and A1_T4 positions and
appendicitis. For diffuse peritonitis, significant positions were A5_T4 and A1_T4.
Conclusion: Differences were noted in the number of sounds and binary matrices in the groups of
patients with acute abdominal diseases. Certain features of bowel sounds characteristic of individual
abdominal diseases were indicated.
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