US20080027350A1 - Methods and apparatus for localization, diagnosis, contact or activity detection of bio-electric tissue - Google Patents

Methods and apparatus for localization, diagnosis, contact or activity detection of bio-electric tissue Download PDF

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US20080027350A1
US20080027350A1 US11/486,828 US48682806A US2008027350A1 US 20080027350 A1 US20080027350 A1 US 20080027350A1 US 48682806 A US48682806 A US 48682806A US 2008027350 A1 US2008027350 A1 US 2008027350A1
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tissue
electrode
bio
impedance
sensing electrode
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William E. Webler
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Abbott Cardiovascular Systems Inc
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Abbott Cardiovascular Systems Inc
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Publication of US20080027350A1 publication Critical patent/US20080027350A1/en
Assigned to ABBOTT CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC. reassignment ABBOTT CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS INC. CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ADVANCED CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEMS, INC.
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/04Measuring bioelectric signals of the body or parts thereof
    • A61B5/0402Electrocardiography, i.e. ECG
    • A61B5/0428Input circuits specially adapted therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/04Measuring bioelectric signals of the body or parts thereof
    • A61B5/0402Electrocardiography, i.e. ECG
    • A61B5/0408Electrodes specially adapted therefor
    • A61B5/042Electrodes specially adapted therefor for introducing into the body
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Detecting, measuring or recording for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/68Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient
    • A61B5/6846Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient specially adapted to be brought in contact with an internal body part, i.e. invasive
    • A61B5/6885Monitoring or controlling sensor contact pressure

Abstract

Methods and apparatus for localization, diagnosis, contact or activity detection of bio-electric tissue providing improved sensitivity to the distance between a sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue and providing the means to measure the impedance of the tissue between a sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue. In accordance with the method, a controlled effective input impedance is provided to the monitor, which input impedance can be set to cause a significant portion of the bio-electric tissue signal to be dropped across the tissue between a sensing electrode and the bio-electric tissue when the two are separated by a predetermined or arbitrary distance. Various illustrative embodiments and forms of construction are disclosed.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to the field of detecting bio-electric activity of tissue.
  • 2. Prior Art
  • Using modern ECG monitors to determine, for instance, when an electrode is in contact with live contractile heart tissue, to differentiate live from dead contractile heart tissue or to localize Purkinje fibers is difficult using modern ECG monitors because there is little difference in displayed signal amplitudes between when an electrode is very near, nearing, moving further away from, in contact with or a few centimeters away from an electrically active tissue.
  • The reason for this lack of significant change in signal amplitudes is the high input impedance of modern ECG and other bio-electrical activity monitors. For instance, an input impedance/resistance of 1012 ohms is not unusual for an input amplifier of a monitor. Of course, for monitoring purposes, this high input impedance is desirable, as the signal levels are thus as high and as constant as possible, allowing standardized monitoring procedures and diagnosis despite variations in sensing electrode placement or electrode impedance. Also, the gain range in the monitors may be smaller and gain adjustment is often not necessary to obtain a well-defined signal. From a historical perspective, the development of higher input impedance amplifiers also improved patient safety by reducing leakage currents and the like.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of one embodiment of the present invention using a selectable predetermined input impedance to a monitor.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of one embodiment of the present invention using a selection of multiple predetermined input impedances to a monitor.
  • FIG. 3 is a simplified circuit diagram for the input circuit to a monitor for certain embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a processor controlled interface for certain embodiments of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The preferred embodiments of the present invention provide a monitoring circuit with a reduced input impedance to cause more current to flow in the sensing circuit, and thus cause more of a signal drop across the resistance of the intervening tissue (like blood, heart tissue, muscle tissue, skin, etc.) between the sensing electrode and the electrically active tissue to be localized or sensed. The voltage drop is in an amount responsive to the distance between the sensing electrode and the electrically active tissue. This may be achieved, by way of example, by using a typical sensing circuit and adding a suitable resistance across the sensing and reference electrodes or the electrode connections to an otherwise high input impedance monitor to raise the signal current in the sensing circuit and thus, drop more of the signal voltage across the tissue between the sensing electrode and the electrically active tissue. Thus, the closer the sensing electrode gets to the tissue, the lower the resistance of the intervening tissue becomes, and the less of the signal is dropped across the intervening tissue. With less signal dropped, the amplitude of the signal sensed by the monitor increases. Thus, as the sensing electrode is moved toward the tissue producing the electrical signal of interest, the signal sensed by the monitor increases significantly and, conversely, as the sensing electrode is moved further away from the tissue producing the electrical signal of interest, the signal sensed by the monitor decreases significantly. (In conventional monitors, the input impedance of the monitor is so high that there is very little current in the sensing circuit, so there is very little signal dropped across the resistance of the intervening tissue and thus, there is very little change in the monitored signal amplitude as the distance to the electrically active tissue is changed.)
  • The resistor effectively lowering the input impedance of the monitor may be mounted in the device/catheter with the sensing and reference electrode(s) or in the input of the monitor, thereby allowing the use of a conventional monitor. A switch(s) or switching device(s) may also be incorporated to allow the resistor(s) to be switched into and/or out of the circuit(s) to allow the electrodes to be used for the normal monitoring or other purposes, as well as for localization purposes. Because the resistor(s) and/or switches need not be connected to an active power supply, they may be passive devices. Alternatively the switch(s) may be constructed from modern active switching devices, while still maintaining patient safety.
  • Because the voltage of the electrical signals generated by the heart and nervous tissue are very close to the same from one individual to another individual, the variations in tissue (like blood) bulk resistance are limited from one individual to the another individual, and practical sensing electrode distances from the electrically active tissue within or across the anatomy are limited from one individual to the another individual, one might choose to use a fixed or standard input impedance(s) that will provide standardized signal level changes or indications to aid in the localization or diagnosis of bio-electrically active tissue(s). Such an arrangement can have the advantages of providing a standard localization “feel” for the device and/or standard diagnosis signal level change and/or indication change values.
  • Now referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, two schematic block diagrams and a simplified circuit diagram of an electrode pair and monitor or monitor input circuit may be seen. The sensing electrode for sensing the bio-electric signal VS may be of a conventional monitoring electrode design or a special electrode design fabricated for this specific purpose. The reference electrode design may also be a conventional reference electrode design, if desired, a single electrode or a composite of several electrodes, as is well known in the art of ECG monitoring. It is preferred that the reference electrode be in contact with the body tissue at a greater distance from the bio-electric tissue of interest than the sensing electrode. It is also preferred that the reference electrode's position be constant or experience less motion (less percent change in distance relative to the tissue generating the bio-electric signal of interest) than the sensing electrode. As shown in FIG. 1, the monitor may be a conventional high input impedance ECG monitor with a resistor external to the monitor being switchable across a pair(s) of the monitor input terminals to effectively controllably reduce the apparent input impedance of the monitor as seen by the sensing circuit to a predetermined value, or at least a predetermined value for the specific application of the invention. In that regard, FIG. 2 is a similar block diagram illustrating the use of multiple, different valued resistors that may be switched into the circuit individually or in combination to provide a choice of input impedances. In other embodiments, an adjustable or variable resistor may be used. In any event, FIG. 3 illustrates a simplified or lumped equivalent circuit for the electrodes and the input amplifier of the monitor, where RI represents the normally very high input impedance of the monitor input amplifier and RN represents the resistance of the new resistor or variable/adjustable resistor or the combined resistance of the new resistors switchably coupled across the monitor input and/or across the electrode leads. RD represents the resistance between the tip of the sensing electrode and the bio-electric tissue being sensed (plus any resistance associated with the reference electrode or the electrode leads, which can be designed to be negligible and/or a relatively constant/known value using methods known to the art). VS represents the bio-electric tissue signal voltage of interest and VE represents the portion of the bio-electric tissue signal voltage VS applied to one side of the monitor input via the sensing electrode. VR represents the reference voltage or voltage signal applied to the other side of the monitor input via the reference electrode. VM represents the output or response of the monitor's input amplifier. It can be shown that a greater monitor response (change in VM) to a variation in proximity of the tip of the sensing electrode to the bio-electric tissue occurs when switch S is closed and the resistance of the combination of resistors RI and RN is chosen, for example, such that it equals the resistance RD of the intervening tissue at some distance from the tissue, or:
  • R D = 1 1 R I + 1 R N
  • Using this value, the current I through the sensing circuit is:
  • I = V S - V R R D + 1 1 R I + 1 R N = V S - V R R D + R D = V S - V R 2 R D
  • Assuming the monitor input amplifier has a gain of one (for convenience, the monitor input amplifier is assumed to have gain of one throughout all of the following descriptions), the voltage level sensed or displayed by the monitor is then:
  • V M = R D ( V S - V R ) 2 R D = ( V S - V R ) 2
  • Thus, if RN is chosen so that:
  • R D = 1 1 R I + 1 R N
  • when the tip of the sensing electrode is at a distance of say 1 cm from the bio-electric tissue signal source VS, then the monitor will sense one half the full voltage difference generated between the bio-electric tissue VS and the reference VR. If the sensing electrode is now moved closer to the bio-electric tissue such that resistance of the tissue RD becomes ½ its former value, then the new current I′ through the sensing circuit becomes:
  • I = V S - V R R D 2 + R D = 2 ( V S - V R ) 3 R D
  • Thus, the new voltage VM′ sensed or displayed by the monitor becomes:
  • V M = 2 R D ( V S - V R ) 3 R D = 2 ( V S - V R ) 3
  • Thus, the change in voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor as a result of this sensing electrode motion toward the bio-electric tissue is:
  • V M - V M = 2 ( V S - V r ) 3 - ( V S - V r ) 2 = ( V S - V r ) 6
  • This is to be compared with a prior art high input impedance monitor where RI is much larger than RD for reference and sensing electrodes on or within the body. Under these conditions, the values of RD are very much lower than RI, so substantially the full voltage generated by the bio-electric tissue relative to the reference (VS-VR) is sensed by the monitor in either sensing electrode position, and there is very little variation in the voltage sensed or displayed with sensing electrode position changes relative to the bio-electric tissue.
  • Illustrating this lack of change in mathematical terms, without RN in the sensing circuit (switch S open, as shown in FIG. 3), the current I in the sensing circuit is:
  • I = V S - V R R D + R I
  • Thus, the voltage VM sensed or displayed by the monitor becomes:
  • V M = R I ( V S - V R ) R D + R I
  • However, because RI is so much larger than RD, for practical purposes:
  • R I R D + R I 1
  • Note that a typical value of RD may be on the order of 104 ohms or considerably less (as determined using catheter mounted intraventricular sensing electrodes and sensing needle electrodes in animal experiments with the catheter mounted reference electrode located in the Aorta) and a typical value of RI may be on the order of 1012 ohms (from technical data sheets of amplifiers with JFET input stages).
  • Therefore, for practical purposes, the voltage VM sensed or displayed by the monitor becomes, regardless of sensing electrode position changes (changes in RD):

  • V M =V S −V R
  • Thus, the invention is used to provide greater changes in the sensed or displayed bio-electric signal levels as a sensing electrode is moved through tissue (blood is a tissue) closer to or away from a bio-electric tissue of interest. For an IV (intraventricular) catheter, this can be used in several ways. One way is to determine when the tip of a sensing electrode is in contact with living heart muscle tissue. As the tip of the sensing electrode is moved toward the heart muscle through the blood in the LV (left ventricle), the monitored ECG signal level (Q-R-S-T segment related to ventricular electrical activity) sensed by the tip of the sensing electrode will increase and peak when it contacts the heart tissue. Also, when the sensing electrode contacts the heart tissue there will be little or no difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit.
  • Another application is to aid in the diagnosis of heart tissue. If the heart tissue is scar tissue, dead tissue or other not bio-electrically active tissue, then the changes in the ECG amplitude will be much less as the tip of the sensing electrode is brought into contact with the tissue than when approaching a bio-electrically active tissue. Also, when the sensing electrode contacts bio-electrically active heart tissue, there will not be a significant difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit. However, when the sensing electrode contacts heart tissue that is scar tissue, dead tissue or other not bio-electrically active tissue, there will be a significant difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit.
  • When this information is combined with tissue motion/strain information, such as from a fluoroscope, sonogram or other imaging or detection system (e.g. CT imaging, a tip location system, a tip acceleration system), a tissue diagnosis may be made. Tissue with a large ECG signal increase when approached by a sensing electrode or (when the sensing electrode is in contact with the tissue) without a significant difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit and high levels of motion is healthy tissue. Tissue with a large ECG signal increase when approached by a sensing electrode or (when the sensing electrode is in contact with the tissue) without a significant difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit and low levels of motion is stunned tissue. Tissue with a small ECG signal increase when approached by a sensing electrode or (when the sensing electrode is in contact with the tissue) a significant difference between the voltage sensed or displayed by the monitor between when a well-chosen RN is switched into the sensing circuit and when RN is switched out of the sensing circuit and low levels of motion is dead or scar tissue.
  • Another, more complex, embodiment of this invention is to use it to measure/estimate RD using some form of the following simplified derivation:
  • With switch S open, RN not in the sensing circuit, as previously derived, for practical purposes:

  • V M =V S −V R
  • With switch S closed, current in the sensing circuit I, is:
  • I = V S - V R R D + 1 1 R N + 1 R I
  • However, with RI very much larger than RN, for practical purposes:
  • 1 1 R N + 1 R I R N
  • Therefore, the equation for I may be simplified to become:
  • I V S - V R R D + R N
  • Therefore, the new voltage sensed or displayed VM′ becomes:
  • V M R N ( V S - V R ) R D + R N
  • Substituting VM for VS-VR and solving for RD:
  • R D R N ( V M - V M ) V M
  • Thus, the resistance of the tissue between the sensing electrode (plus other reference and sensing electrode associated resistances) and the bio-electric tissue may be easily determined/estimated from known (RN) and measured parameters (VM and VM′). In some embodiments, such as where RN is standardized or constant, a parameter responsive to RD may be calculated and displayed or scaled to, for example,
  • ( V M - V M ) V M , V M V M - 1 , V M V M
  • or, such as where, additionally, the bio-electric signal amplitudes (VS) are relatively fixed, to, for example, VM-VM′ for simplicity.
  • Because bio-electric tissue signals are much lower in frequency than the frequency responses of amplifier/input amplifier technology and electronic switching circuitry (as well as some part-mechanical switching components like mercury wetted relays), RN may be rapidly switched into and out of the sensing circuit to provide a rapidly updated calculated value of RD from the resulting adjacent values of VM and VM′. For instance, as shown in FIG. 4, VM and VM′ may be sampled using a switch SW and an analog to digital converter ADC, and the value of RD or a parameter responsive to the value of RD computed by a Processor and displayed in some manner, such as graphical or numerical. In other embodiments, the value of RN and/or the gain of the amplifier may also be under processor control and thus, for instance, the values of VM, VM′ and/or VM-VM′ controlled to provide optimum use of the voltage range and/or discrimination of the ADC. A display relating the timing of RD values to the timing of the sensed bio-electric signal waveform (from the sensing and reference electrodes without RN in the circuit) is preferred so that both may be displayed simultaneously and thus, the values of RD be more readily related to the tissue signal of interest. In a less preferred sampling embodiment, because the waveforms of bio-electric tissue signals are often very repeatable in shape or have portions that are very repeatable in shape, VM (or VM′) may be sampled from the real-time bio-electric tissue signal and VM′ (or VM) sampled from the previously recorded bio-electric tissue signal waveform at or near the portion of the waveform analogous to the current portion of the real-time signal to provide a rapidly updated calculated value of RD.
  • A rapidly updated calculated and displayed value(s) of RD can provide a quasi real-time indication of a sensing electrode's motion direction relative to a bio-electric tissue of interest. The preferred method of generating a rapidly updated RD display is especially useful in the case of ECG waveforms, which have a relatively long period and can change shape as the position of the sensing electrode (and/or reference electrode) is changed. If the value of RD is increasing for the bio-electric signal portion of interest, then the sensing electrode is moving away from the tissue of interest and, conversely, if the value of RD is decreasing for the bio-electric signal portion of interest, then the sensing electrode is moving toward the tissue of interest.
  • As one skilled in the art will recognize, RI is also a known/measurable parameter and may be included in derivations similar to the previous derivations to provide slightly more precise results. As is also well known in the art, rather than just resistances, impedance values (including frequency dependent reactance(s), as well as resistance) may be used with similar mathematic relationships (and/or as a replacement for RN) as in the previous derivations. Such more complex mathematics also demonstrates the means to obtain greater changes in sensed or displayed signal levels with changes in the position of the sensing electrode relative to the bio-electric tissue and/or provides the means to estimate/calculate RD and/or its analogous impedance value. Another application is to aid in the localization of Purkinje fibers. The closer the sensing electrode (could be a needle tip electrode) approaches a Purkinje fiber, the larger will be its electrical signal spike prior to the “R” wave in the ECG and the lower will be the RD calculated for the signal spike. Another way is to compare the number of fibers in a Purkinje fiber bundle. Once the peak electrical signal spike (or minimum spike RD) is obtained by a needle sensing electrode (penetrating a wall of the heart), the relative amplitudes of the peaks obtained with the same well chosen RN switched into the sensing circuit will indicate the relative size of the fiber bundles—the higher the peak amplitude, the more fibers in the bundle. This occurs because of the inherent resistance of each fiber. With more than one fiber, these individual resistances are effectively in parallel and thus, drop less voltage. The more fibers, the less voltage dropped across the fiber resistance. For this reason, the minimum RD of a fiber bundle with more fibers will be smaller than the minimum RD of a fiber bundle with less fibers.
  • A product in accordance with the present invention could include all electrodes, resistances, switches and the monitor. However as previously noted, a conventional sensing and reference electrode may be used as well as a conventional monitor. Thus the invention may be practiced by providing an interface to go between a sensing and reference electrodes and a monitor with the interface containing the appropriate switch(es)/resistance(s) for the purpose. Alternatively, such an interface may provide one or both of the sensing electrode and reference electrodes. Such interfaces may also include a connection to the monitor, by which the monitor may control the position(s) of the switch(es). Such an assembly or interface could be made disposable or reusable. In that regard, since the input impedance RI of prior art monitors is quite high compared to the tissue resistance RD, variations in input impedance between different monitors or different manufacturers' monitors will have negligible effect on the operation of the present invention. A manual switch might be stable in either the on (RN in the sensing circuit) or off position (RN not in the sensing circuit), or alternatively, may be a spring return pushbutton switch for actuation when the electrode is being actively manipulated, but automatically returning to the off position for normal ECG monitoring when not being actively manipulated.
  • In another embodiment, a product in accordance with the present invention could be built into the proximal hub of a catheter. The catheter and/or its associated components may contain electrodes that may serve as sensing and/or reference electrodes and a proximal hub(s) of the catheter may contain the switch(es) and resistor(s) and electrode connections compatible with a conventional monitor. In some embodiments, a connection to the monitor, by which the monitor may control the position(s) of the switch(es), may be provided.
  • In another embodiment, a product in accordance with the present invention could be built into the monitor and be designed to be compatible with conventional electrodes, needle electrodes, catheter mounted electrodes, pacing electrodes and others.
  • In some embodiments, the monitor may be a part of a more complex system, such as a medical imaging machine, catheter position determining system or an implanted device.
  • The invention may be used to provide greater changes in sensed or displayed bio-electric signal levels as a sensing electrode moves through tissue (blood is a tissue) closer to or away from a bio-electric tissue of interest or to determine tissue resistance values using conventional ECG or nerve impulse monitors or conventional ECG or nerve impulse monitor technology modified in accordance with this invention. Standardized settings may be determined to aid in the localization or diagnosis of tissue based on bio-electric signal levels level changes, calculated tissue resistance and/or calculated tissue resistance changes.
  • Thus, while certain preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed and described herein for purposes of illustration and not for purposes of limitation, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (34)

1. A method of sensing bioactivity of bio-electric tissue comprising:
inserting a sensing electrode into the vicinity of the bio-electric tissue; and,
monitoring the electrode voltage between the sensing electrode and a reference electrode using a monitor having a predetermined effective input impedance, the input impedance being selected to cause a significant portion of the bio-electric voltage to be dropped across the tissue between a tip of the electrode and the bio-electric tissue.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein monitoring the electrode voltage is done using a high input impedance monitor, and further comprising placing a resistance or impedance in parallel with the monitor input terminals to achieve the predetermined effective input impedance.
3. The method of claim 2 further comprising controllably disconnecting the resistance or impedance from the monitor input terminals, whereby the monitor may be used with the electrode as a high input impedance monitor.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein monitoring the electrode voltage is done using a high input impedance monitor, and further comprising placing any or a combination of resistances or impedances in parallel with the monitor input terminals to provide a selection of predetermined effective input impedances.
5. The method of claim 5 further comprising controllably disconnecting the resistances or impedances from the monitor input terminals, whereby the monitor may be used with the electrode as a high input impedance monitor.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein monitoring the electrode voltage further comprises monitoring the change in electrode voltage with change in position of the electrode relative to the bio-electric tissue.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the monitor is an ECG monitor.
8. A method of sensing a parameter responsive to the impedance of tissue between a sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue comprising:
inserting the sensing electrode into the vicinity of the bio-electric tissue; and,
using a monitor with a predetermined input impedance RI, measuring the electrode voltage VM′ between the sensing electrode and a reference electrode with a second predetermined impedance RN coupled between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode, and measuring the electrode voltage VM between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode with the second predetermined impedance not coupled between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode; and,
calculating the parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue based on the measured values of VM and VM′.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the input impedance RI is much larger than the second impedance RN, and the parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue is determined based on the equation:
R D R N ( V M - V M ) V M .
10. The method of claim 8 wherein the electrode voltages VM and VM′ are repeatedly measured, and the calculation of the parameter responsive to the impedance RD is repeatedly updated based on updated measurements of VM and VM′.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the calculated values of the parameter responsive to the impedance RD are displayed on a display.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein the method is carried out under processor control.
13. A method of determining a characteristic of normally bio-electric tissue comprising:
causing a sensing electrode to touch the normally bio-electric tissue; and,
using a monitor with a predetermined input impedance RI, measuring the electrode voltage VM′ between the sensing electrode and a reference electrode with a second predetermined impedance RN coupled between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode, and measuring the electrode voltage VM between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode with the second predetermined impedance not coupled between the sensing electrode and the reference electrode; and,
determining the characteristic of the normally bio-electric tissue from at least one of the measured values of VM and VM′.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein the characteristic of the normally bio-electric tissue is the condition of the normally bio-electric tissue determined by comparing the value of VM′ with a predetermined expected value of VM′.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the method is carried out under processor control.
16. The method of claim 13 wherein the characteristic of the normally bio-electric tissue is the condition of the normally bio-electric tissue determined by comparing the difference in the values of VM and VM′ with a predetermined value of the difference.
17. The method of claim 16 wherein the method is carried out under processor control.
18. For use with an ECG monitor, apparatus comprising:
a sensing electrode configured for insertion in the proximity of bio-electric tissue;
an interface unit connectable to the sensing electrode and a reference electrode;
the interface unit also being connectable to at least a pair of ECG monitor inputs, the interface unit being configured to couple the sensing electrode and the reference electrode to an ECG monitor inputs and to also impose a predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs.
19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the interface unit includes at least one switch to controllably connect and disconnect the predetermined impedance from across the ECG monitor inputs.
20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the switch comprises a pushbutton switch.
21. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the at least one switch comprises a plurality of switches to controllably independently connect and disconnect any of more than one predetermined impedances from across the ECG monitor inputs.
22. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the interface unit is permanently connected to the sensing electrode.
23. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the interface unit is configured to alternately impose the predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs and not impose the predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs.
24. The apparatus of claim 23 wherein the interface unit is further configured to repeatedly calculate a parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue as determined based on equation:
R D R N ( V M - V M ) V M .
25. The apparatus of claim 24 wherein the interface unit contains a processor.
26. The apparatus of claim 24 further comprised of a display coupled to display the parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue.
27. For use with an ECG monitor, a sensing electrode configured for insertion in the proximity of bio-electric tissue and a reference electrode, the apparatus comprising:
an interface unit connectable to the sensing electrode and the reference electrode, the interface unit also being connectable to at least a pair ECG monitor inputs, the interface unit being configured to couple the sensing electrode and the reference electrode to an ECG monitor inputs and to also impose a predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs.
28. The apparatus of claim 27 wherein the interface unit includes at least one switch to controllably connect and disconnect the predetermined impedance from across the ECG monitor input.
29. The apparatus of claim 28 wherein the switch comprises a pushbutton switch.
30. The apparatus of claim 28 wherein the at least one switch comprises a plurality of switches to controllably independently connect and disconnect any of more than one predetermined impedances from across the ECG monitor input.
31. The apparatus of claim 27 wherein the interface unit is configured to alternately impose the predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs and not impose the predetermined impedance across the ECG monitor inputs.
32. The apparatus of claim 31 wherein the interface unit is further configured to repeatedly calculate a parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue as determined using the equation:
R D R N ( V M - V M ) V M .
33. The apparatus of claim 32 wherein the interface unit contains a processor.
34. The apparatus of claim 32 further comprised of a display coupled to display the parameter responsive to the impedance RD of the tissue between the sensing electrode and bio-electric tissue.
US11/486,828 2006-07-13 2006-07-13 Methods and apparatus for localization, diagnosis, contact or activity detection of bio-electric tissue Abandoned US20080027350A1 (en)

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US12/482,255 US8521262B2 (en) 2006-07-13 2009-06-10 Methods and apparatus for localization, diagnosis, contact or activity detection of bio-electric tissue

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US10070800B2 (en) 2007-08-09 2018-09-11 Impedimed Limited Impedance measurement process
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