This computer simulation study compared the ability of left ventricular coronary vein (LV) pacemaker leads against right ventricular (RV) and right atrial (RA) leads to monitor lung edema using electrical impedance measurements. MRI images were used to construct electrical models of the thorax. Four lead configurations were tested with increases of pulmonary edema, intravascular fluids and heart dilation. The impedance changes observed at end systole with severe lung edema were 8.5%, 11.2%, 12.3% and 26.8% for the RA, RV, RV coil and LV configurations, respectively. Sensitivities in ohms per litre of lung fluid were 19.15, 19.15, 25.07 and 52.11 for the same configurations. The impedance changes for intravascular fluid overload with constant lung status were 1%, 1.3%, 9.2% and 6.4% while the sensitivities were 2, 2, 17 and 11 ohms per litre of intravascular fluid, respectively. Regional analysis of the thoracic sources of impedance revealed a high sensitivity near pacing electrodes and generator, and a low sensitivity to the right lung and all pulmonary vessels. Simulations showed that LV leads have a threefold advantage in sensitivity when monitoring lung edema in comparison to conventional RV leads. To monitor vascular and lung fluids independently, combined impedance configurations may be used. Regional sensitivities must be taken into account for proper clinical interpretation of impedance changes.
- Cardiac resynchronization therapy
- Congestive heart failure