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Electrical impedance tomography: the holy grail of ventilation and perfusion monitoring?

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Abstract

This review summarizes the state-of-the-art in electrical impedance tomography (EIT) for ventilation and perfusion imaging. EIT is a relatively new technology used to image regional impedance distributions in a cross-sectional area of the body. After the introduction, a brief overview of the recent history is provided followed by a review of the literature on regional ventilation monitoring using EIT. Several recently presented indices that are useful to extract information from EIT image streams are described. Selected experimental and clinical findings are discussed with respect to future routine applications in intensive care. Finally, past and ongoing research activities aimed at obtaining cardiac output and regional perfusion information from EIT image streams are summarized.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Laraine Visser-Isles, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for proofreading of the English manuscript. The authors gratefully acknowledge the permission to use the Dräger EIT Evaluation Kit 2 (EEK2) for unrestricted research into animals and human trials.

Conflicts of interest

S. Leonhardt discloses financial support for unrestricted research into EIT-based perfusion imaging from Dräger Medical GmbH, Lübeck, Germany. He has also received honoraria for lecturing and consulting.

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Correspondence to Steffen Leonhardt.

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Leonhardt, S., Lachmann, B. Electrical impedance tomography: the holy grail of ventilation and perfusion monitoring?. Intensive Care Med 38, 1917–1929 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-012-2684-z

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Keywords

  • Electrical impedance tomography
  • EIT
  • Regional ventilation monitoring
  • Regional perfusion monitoring