Electrical Impedance Tomography in Perioperative Medicine

Careful Respiratory Monitoring for Tailored Interventions

Elena Spinelli; Tommaso Mauri; Alberto Fogagnolo; Gaetano Scaramuzzo; Annalisa Rundo; Domenico Luca Grieco; Giacomo Grasselli; Carlo Alberto Volta; Savino Spadaro


BMC Anesthesiol. 2019;19(140) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a non-invasive radiation-free monitoring technique that provides images based on tissue electrical conductivity of the chest. Several investigations applied EIT in the context of perioperative medicine, which is not confined to the intraoperative period but begins with the preoperative assessment and extends to postoperative follow-up.

Main body: EIT could provide careful respiratory monitoring in the preoperative assessment to improve preparation for surgery, during anaesthesia to guide optimal ventilation strategies and to monitor the hemodynamic status and in the postoperative period for early detection of respiratory complications. Moreover, EIT could further enhance care of patients undergoing perioperative diagnostic procedures. This narrative review summarizes the latest evidence on the application of this technique to the surgical patient, focusing also on possible future perspectives.

Conclusions: EIT is a promising technique for the perioperative assessment of surgical patients, providing tailored adaptive respiratory and haemodynamic monitoring. Further studies are needed to address the current technological limitations, confirm the findings and evaluate which patients can benefit more from this technology.