BACKGROUND: Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) with indicator dilution may be clinically useful to measure relative lung perfusion, but there is limited information on the performance of this technique. METHODS: Thirteen pigs (50-66 kg) were anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated. Sequential changes in ventilation were made: (i) right-lung ventilation with left-lung collapse, (ii) two-lung ventilation with optimised PEEP, (iii) two-lung ventilation with zero PEEP after saline lung lavage, (iv) two-lung ventilation with maximum PEEP (20/25 cm HO to achieve peak airway pressure 45 cm HO), and (v) two-lung ventilation under unilateral pulmonary artery occlusion. Relative lung perfusion was assessed with EIT and central venous injection of saline 3%, 5%, and 10% (10 ml) during breath holds. Relative perfusion was determined by positron emission tomography (PET) using Gallium-labelled microspheres. EIT and PET were compared in eight regions of equal ventro-dorsal height (right, left, ventral, mid-ventral, mid-dorsal, and dorsal), and directional changes in regional perfusion were determined. RESULTS: Differences between methods were relatively small (95% of values differed by less than 8.7%, 8.9%, and 9.5% for saline 10%, 5%, and 3%, respectively). Compared with PET, EIT underestimated relative perfusion in dependent, and overestimated it in non-dependent, regions. EIT and PET detected the same direction of change in relative lung perfusion in 68.9-95.9% of measurements. CONCLUSIONS: The agreement between EIT and PET for measuring and tracking changes of relative lung perfusion was satisfactory for clinical purposes. Indicator-based EIT may prove useful for measuring pulmonary perfusion at bedside.
To measure blood flow distributions within the lungs at bedside, Electrical Impedance Tomography measurements based on conductive indicator signals have been recently proposed. The first passage of the indicator signal through the lungs is exploited, but needs to be separated from a superimposed slow drift signal. Two fitting approaches are presented in this paper to accomplish this separation task. The accuracy of estimated first pass signal features is investigated on a synthetic data base. Both algorithms alter the shape of the indicator signal similarly. The algorithms are finally tested on real data from a preclinical porcine study.