Background: The forced oscillation technique (FOT) is a simple method for assessing the oscillatory mechanics of the respiratory system. The oscillatory properties, respiratory system resistance (Rrs) and reactance (Xrs), are calculated from the oscillatory pressure/flow relationship. Although the FOT has been a well-established technique, some detailed experimental conditions would be different among institutions.Methods: We evaluated whether time lags produced by the experimental conditions such as different positions of the sensors can affect the accuracy of the FOT. If the position of the pressure sensor is different from the flow sensor, a time lag may occur in the measurements. The effect of the time lag was studied by numerical analysis.Results: Rrs was estimated to be increased and Xrs decreased with an increase in the time lag, especially at a high oscillatory frequency of the medium-frequency range (5-35 Hz). At the high-frequency range (10-500 Hz), Rrs and Xrs were strikingly different in the values of the time lag.Conclusion: A time lag between the oscillatory pressure and flow may be involved in the accuracy of the FOT, suggesting that it needs to be minimized or compensated for with signal processing. Researchers should pay attention to such detailed experimental conditions of the FOT apparatus.
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