Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT)


Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) is used in a clinical context to visualize changes in ventilation distribution. Therefore an array of electrodes is attached circumferely around the patients chest. Subsequently small alternating currents are injected into the patients body and resulting voltages on the surface of the thorax are measured. Mathematical reconstruction methods are employed to generate tomographic images depicting the current ventilation state of the patients lungs.

Current research at ITeM

EIT has already shown promising results for mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit. Current reseach at ITeM focuses on its further use in this field but as well on the application of EIT in spontaneously breathing patients, which are suffering from obstructive lung diseases, e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. A multidisciplinary team, consisting of mathematicians, engineers and biologists, develops methods for image reconstruction and signal processing in order to provide relevant informations for physicians and other clinical staff.


The main topics are:

  • Incorporating information from other medical devices (e.g. spirometry, x-ray computed imaging) into the image reconstruction process of EIT
  • Evolution of EIT to become a 3D imaging technolgogy to get more comprehensive information about the patients lung conditions
  • Development of novel fast image reconstruction algorithms which are suitable for 3D image reconstruction
  • Investigation of particularities in the usage of EIT in patients with obstructive lung diseases
  • Development of routines and algorithms to facilitate interpretation of EIT data in a clinical context