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

Intensive Care Med. 2012 Dec;38(12):1917-29. doi: 10.1007/s00134-012-2684-z. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electric Impedance
  • Heart Function Tests
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Tomography / methods*