Breathing moves volumes of electrically insulating air into and out of the lungs, producing conductivity changes which can be seen by electrical impedance tomography (EIT). It has thus been apparent, since the early days of EIT research, that imaging of ventilation could become a key clinical application of EIT. In this paper, we review the current state and future prospects for lung EIT, by a synthesis of the presentations of the authors at the special lung sessions of the annual biomedical EIT conferences in 20092011. We argue that lung EIT research has arrived at an important transition. It is now clear that valid and reproducible physiological information is available from EIT lung images. We must now ask the question: How can these data be used to help improve patient outcomes? To answer this question, we develop a classification of possible clinical scenarios in which EIT could play an important role, and we identify clinical and experimental research programmes and engineering developments required to turn EIT into a clinically useful tool for lung monitoring.

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Keywords electrical impedance tomography, lung protective ventilation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1088/0967-3334/33/5/679
Journal Physiological Measurement
Citation
Adler, A, Amato, M.B. (Marcelo B), Arnold, J.H. (John H), Bayford, R. (Richard), Bodenstein, M. (Marc), Böhm, S.H. (Stephan H), … Wolf, G.K. (Gerhard K). (2012). Whither lung EIT: Where are we, where do we want to go and what do we need to get there?. Physiological Measurement, 33(5), 679–694. doi:10.1088/0967-3334/33/5/679