Background: Measurement of intrapleural pressure is useful during various pleural procedures. However, a pleural manometer is rarely available. Objectives: The aim of this study was to (1) construct an electronic pleural manometer, (2) assess the accuracy of the measurements done with the new device, (3) calculate the costs of the manometer construction and (4) perform an initial evaluation of the device in a clinical setting. Methods: Only widely accessible elements were used to construct the device. A vascular pressure transducer was used to transform pressure into an electronic signal. Reliability of the measurements was evaluated in a laboratory setting in a prospective, single-blind manner by comparing the results with those measured by a water manometer. Functionality of the device was assessed during therapeutic thoracentesis. The cost of the new pleural manometer was calculated. Results: We built a small, portable device which can precisely measure intrapleural pressure. The measurement results showed very high agreement with those registered with a water manometer (r = 0.999; p < 0.001). The initial evaluation of the electronic manometer during therapeutic thoracentesis showed it was easy to use. The total time needed for 6 measurements after withdrawal of different volumes of pleural fluid in 1 patient did not exceed 6 min. The total cost of the device was calculated to be <2,000 EUR. Conclusions: In the face of very limited offer of commercially available pleural manometers, it is possible to successfully construct a self-made, reliable, electronic pleural manometer at modest costs. The device is easy to use and enables data display and storage in the personal computer.

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