Electrical impedance tomography (EIT), a noninvasive and radiation-free imaging technique can be used in pulmonary function monitoring for determining regional ventilation distribution within the lung. Gold standard in pulmonary function monitoring is spirometry/body plethysmography, a method using forced breathing maneuvers to obtain global lung function parameters. However, this method is heavily dependent on the cooperation of the patients. Within this observational study, a method under normal breathing was tested with 5 healthy volunteers, which provides regional information about ventilation distribution. The occlusion method Rocc, a method for determining airway resistance, was used to create a short-term airway closure. Regional ventilation during the airway closure was examined with EIT. Simultaneously four different artificial airway resistances were used to simulate airway obstructions. Results show that EIT in combination with the ROcc method is suitable for the detection of regional differences in ventilation during airway closure for all four artificial airway resistances. Although the sum of relative impedances at the end of the shutter maneuver are smaller (nearly -0.100 AU) for the airway resistances Ø 12.5 mm, Ø 10.5 mm and Ø 9.5 mm than for the smallest one with Ø 30.0 mm (~ -0.070 AU), the changes in impedance from the start to the end of the shutter maneuver differs only slightly between the four artificial airway resistances. All impedance changes are in the range of 0.100 to 0.130 AU. The combination of EIT and the ROcc method provides not only global parameters such as airway resistance under normal breathing conditions, but also results of regional ventilation, which could enable the identification of areas affected by airway obstructions. However, the obtained results indicate that EIT might be a useful tool in the diagnosis and follow-up of obstructive lung diseases.
© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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