New way of using Electrical impedance tomography allows visualizing lung function with high accuracy

Electrial Impedance Tomography (EIT) has been known and studied since the early 1980s. Multiple research groups have been working on various applications, including monitoring of gastric emptying, lung monitoring, lung perfusion, and cardiac and neurological function. Despite the enormous potential of EIT technology, it still hasn’t been implemented in routine clinical practice. It appears that other methods like CT and MRI are dominant. But CT is a dangerous procedure, especially if there is a need for constant monitoring. MRI, on the other hand, is expensive and not always accessible. Implementing EIT measurement is really complex due to body bioelectrical properties and small signals reaching 100µV, meaning that different impedance distributions can generate the same results. A decade ago, technology was improved that allowed the building of better EIT devices that could allow monitoring patients in the intensive care unit without side effects. A recent breakthrough was made by TU Wien, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna researchers. They included high-resolution CT images with known lung contours and other parameters in the calculation model and got promising results.

Continue reading