Evaluation of electrical impedance tomography for determination of urinary bladder volume: Comparison with standard ultrasound methods in healthy volunteers

Dorothea Leonhäuser, Carlos Castelar, Thomas Schlebusch, Martin Rohm, Rüdiger Rupp, Steffen Leonhardt, Marian Walter, Joachim O. Grosse*

*Corresponding author for this work
36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Continuous non-invasive urinary bladder volume measurement (cystovolumetry) would allow better management of urinary tract disease. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) represents a promising method to overcome the limitations of non-continuous ultrasound measurements. The aim of this study was to compare the measurement accuracy of EIT to standard ultrasound in healthy volunteers. Methods: For EIT of the bladder a commercial device (Goe MF II) was used with 4 different configurations of 16 standard ECG electrodes attached to the lower abdomen of healthy participants. To estimate maximum bladder capacity (BCmax) and residual urine (RU) two ultrasound methods (US-Ellipsoid and US-L × W × H) and a bedside bladder scanner (BS), were performed at the point of urgency and after voiding. For volume reference, BCmax and RU were validated by urine collection in a weight measuring pitcher. The global impedance method was used offline to estimate BCmax and RU from EIT. Results: The mean error of US-Ellipsoid (37 ± 17%) and US-L × W × H (36 ± 15%) and EIT (32 ± 18%) showed no significant differences in the estimation of BCmax (mean 743 ± 200 ml) normalized to pitcher volumetry. BS showed significantly worse accuracy (55 ± 9%). Volumetry of RU (mean 152.1 ± 64 ml) revealed comparable higher errors for both EIT (72 ± 58%) and BS (63 ± 24%) compared to US-Ellipsoid (54 ± 25%). In case of RU, EIT accuracy is dependent on electrode configuration, as the Stripes (41 ± 25%) and Matrix (38 ± 27%) configurations revealed significantly superior accuracy to the 1 × 16 (116 ± 62%) configuration. Conclusions: EIT-cystovolumetry compares well with ultrasound techniques. For estimation of RU, the selection of the EIT electrode configuration is important. Also, the development of an algorithm should consider the impact of movement artefacts. Finally, the accuracy of non-invasive ultrasound accepted as gold standard of cystovolumetry should be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13.07.2018

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