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Regional pulmonary effects of bronchoalveolar lavage procedure determined by electrical impedance tomography


Frerichs, I and Dargaville, PA and Rimensberger, PC, Regional pulmonary effects of bronchoalveolar lavage procedure determined by electrical impedance tomography, Intensive Care Medicine Experimental, 7, (1) Article 11. ISSN 2197-425X (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2019. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s40635-019-0225-6


Background: The provision of guidance in ventilator therapy by continuous monitoring of regional lung ventilation, aeration and respiratory system mechanics is the main clinical benefit of electrical impedance tomography (EIT). A new application was recently described in critically ill patients undergoing diagnostic bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) with the intention of using EIT to identify the region where sampling was performed. Increased electrical bioimpedance was reported after fluid instillation. To verify the accuracy of these findings, contradicting the current EIT knowledge, we have systematically analysed chest EIT data acquired under controlled experimental conditions in animals undergoing a large number of BAL procedures.

Methods: One hundred thirteen BAL procedures were performed in 13 newborn piglets positioned both supine and prone. EIT data was obtained at 13 images before, during and after each BAL. The data was analysed at three time points: (1) after disconnection from the ventilator before the fluid instillation and by the ends of fluid (2) instillation and (3) recovery by suction and compared with the baseline measurements before the procedure. Functional EIT images were generated, and changes in pixel electrical bioimpedance were calculated relative to baseline. The data was examined in the whole image and in three (ventral, middle, dorsal) regions-of-interest per lung.

Results: Compared with the baseline phase, chest electrical bioimpedance fell after the disconnection from the ventilator in all animals in both postures during all procedures. The fluid instillation further decreased electrical bioimpedance. During fluid recovery, electrical bioimpedance increased, but not to baseline values. All effects were highly significant (p < 0.001). The fractional changes in individual regions-of-interest were posture-dependent. The regional fall in electrical bioimpedance was smaller in the ventral and larger in the dorsal regions after the fluid instillation than after the initial disconnection to ambient pressure in supine animals (p < 0.001) whereas these changes were of comparable amplitude in prone position.

Conclusions: The results of this study show a regionally dissimilar initial fall in electrical bioimpedance caused by non-uniform aeration loss at the beginning of the BAL procedure. They also confirm a further pronounced fall in bioimpedance during fluid instillation, incomplete recovery after suction and a posture-dependent distribution pattern of these effects.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:alveolar collapse, BAL, EIT, electrical bioimpedance, functional imaging, regional ventilation, ventilation monitoring
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dargaville, PA (Professor Peter Dargaville)
ID Code:131774
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-04-04
Last Modified:2020-03-10
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