Table of Contents
Journal of Medical Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 983938, 7 pages
Research Article

Development of an Anatomically Realistic Forward Solver for Thoracic Electrical Impedance Tomography

1Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA
2Division of Radiological Medical Physics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
3Institute of Engineering in Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Received 14 December 2012; Revised 25 February 2013; Accepted 26 February 2013

Academic Editor: Hengyong Yu

Copyright © 2013 Fei Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) has the potential to provide a low cost and safe imaging modality for clinically monitoring patients being treated with mechanical ventilation. Variations in reconstruction algorithms at different clinical settings, however, make interpretation of regional ventilation across institutions difficult, presenting the need for a unified algorithm for thoracic EIT reconstruction. Development of such a consensual reconstruction algorithm necessitates a forward model capable of predicting surface impedance measurements as well as electric fields in the interior of the modeled thoracic volume. In this paper, we present an anatomically realistic forward solver for thoracic EIT that was built based on high resolution MR image data of a representative adult. Accuracy assessment of the developed forward solver in predicting surface impedance measurements by comparing the predicted and observed impedance measurements shows that the relative error is within the order of 5%, demonstrating the ability of the presented forward solver in generating high-fidelity surface thoracic impedance data for thoracic EIT algorithm development and evaluation.