Skip to Main Content
The aim of the experiments was to check the feasibility of pulmonary perfusion imaging by functional electrical impedance tomography (EIT) and to compare the EIT findings with electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) scans. In three pigs, a Swan-Ganz catheter was positioned in a pulmonary artery branch and hypertonic saline solution or a radiographic contrast agent were administered as boli through the distal or proximal openings of the catheter. During the administration through the proximal opening, the balloon at the tip of the catheter was either deflated or inflated. The latter case represented a perfusion defect. The series of EIT scans of the momentary distribution of electrical impedance within the chest were obtained during each saline bolus administration at a rate of 13/s. EBCT scans were acquired at a rate of 3.3/s during bolus administrations of the radiopaque contrast material under the same steady-state conditions. The EIT data were used to generate local time-impedance curves and functional EIT images showing the perfusion of a small lung region, both lungs with a perfusion defect and complete both lungs during bolus administration through the distal and proximal catheter opening with an inflated or deflated balloon, respectively. The results indicate that EIT imaging of lung perfusion is feasible when an electrical impedance contrast agent is used.