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What is a pneumogram?

A pneumogram is an overnight recording of breathing effort, heart rate, oxygen level, and air flow from the lungs during sleep. It is also called a cardiorespiratory scan, CR scan, pneumocardiogram, or PCG. It can be done in the hospital or at home. Your child may also need a pH recording done in the hospital to measure how often stomach acid comes up into the esophagus.

The doctor will decide what needs to be recorded to help in the treatment of your child. A written log (diary) of what happens during the recording also provides the doctor with useful information.

How is the recording done?

A respiratory care practitioner (RCP) will bring the pneumogram equipment and attach the sensors to your child. The breathing and heart rate are recorded by 2 or 3 sticky electrodes placed on the chest. The oxygen level is measured by a sensor taped to your child's finger or toe. For small infants it may be taped on the hand or foot. Air flow is recorded from a sensor taped under the nose.

To record in the hospital, a RCP will set up the equipment, monitor throughout the night, and remove the sensors in the morning. The RCP and nurse will write details in the log. If your child also needs a pH recording, it may be done along with the pneumogram, or at a different time. For this, a small flexible tube will be passed through the nose into the esophagus (tube going to the stomach).

To record at home: The RCP will either start the recording or give you instructions about how to start it later. The next day, the RCP will return to remove the sensors and pick up the monitor and recording equipment.

What do I need to do?

Feed and care for your child as usual during the recording. At home, you will need to write in the log any changes in your child's activity, such as diaper changes, feedings, crying, coughing, or other events. Be sure to include any monitor alarms that may occur during the recording. Let your child sleep as much as possible: this gives the most accurate results.

When will I get the results?

The recording information will be sent to the diagnostic lab. The information will be analyzed and the results sent within a week to your child's doctor, who will explain them to you.


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions about the reasons for the test or the results, call the doctor. If you have equipment problems at home during the study, please call the monitor company.

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Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last Reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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