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A three-dimensional finite-element model of the thorax and neck using eight-node trilinear hexahedron elements was constructed to investigate the impedance change associated with various physiological events during systole. A three-dimensional finite-element code was developed to solve the generalized Laplace equation with Dirichlet and homogeneous Neumann boundary conditions. The current in each element as well as potential at each node was calculated. The results suggest that an approximately linear relationship exists between the impedance change and blood volume change in the aorta. This is a promising result since the relationship helps explain the correlation between impedance cardiography and invasive techniques. Impedance changes due to blood volume changes in the aorta and ventricles, the lung-resistivity change, and the blood-resistivity change were calculated for standard impedance electrode configurations.