EIT images of ventilation: What contributes to the resistivity changes?

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One promising application of electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is the monitoring of pulmonary ventilation and edema. Using three-dimensional (3D) finite difference human models as virtual phantoms, the factors that contribute to the observed lung resistivity changes in the EIT images were investigated. The results showed that the factors included not only tissue resistivity or vessel volume changes, but also chest expansion and tissue/organ movement. The chest expansion introduced artifacts in the center of the EIT images, ranging from -2% to 31% of the image magnitude. With the increase of simulated chest expansion, the percentage contribution of chest expansion relative to lung resistivity change in the EIT image remained relatively constant. The averaged resistivity changes in the lung regions caused by chest expansion ranged from 0.65% to 18.31%. Tissue/organ movement resulted in an increased resistivity in the lung region and in the center anterior region of EIT images. The increased resistivity with inspiration observed in the heart region was caused mainly by a drop in the heart position, which reduced the heart area at the electrode level and was replaced by the lung tissue with higher resistivity. This study indicates that for the analysis of EIT, data errors caused by chest expansion and tissue/organ movement need to be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S81-S92
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005


  • Chest expansion
  • EIT
  • Electrical impedance tomography
  • Finite difference method
  • Thorax model
  • Tissue/organ movement


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