This study is aimed at investigating the variability in resistivity changes in the lung region as a function of air volume, electrode plane and body position. Six normal subjects (33.8 ± 4.7 years, range from 26 to 37 years) were studied using the Sheffield Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) portable system. Three transverse planes at the level of second intercostal space, the level of the xiphisternal joint, and midway between upper and lower locations were chosen for measurements. For each plane, sixteen electrodes were uniformly positioned around the thorax. Data were collected with the breath held at end expiration and after inspiring 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 liters of air from end expiration, with the subject in both the supine and sitting position. The average resistivity change in five regions, two 8x8 pixel local regions in the right lung, entire right, entire left and total lung regions, were calculated. The results show the resistivity change averaged over electrode positions and subject positions was 7-9% per liter of air, with a slightly larger resistivity change of 10 % per liter air in the lower electrode plane. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) between supine and sitting. The two 8x8 regions show a larger inter individual variability (coefficient of variation, CV, is from 30% to 382%) compared to the entire left, entire right and total lung (CV is from 11% to 51%). The results for the global regions are more consistent. The large inter individual variability appears to be a problem for clinical applications of EIT, such as regional ventilation. The variability may be mitigated by choosing appropriate electrode plane, body position and region of interest for the analysis.

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Published in The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal, v. 8, p. 35-41.

© Zhang and Patterson; Licensee Bentham Open.

This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

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