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glossary:bioimpedance

In biomedical engineering, bioimpedance is a term used to describe the response of a living organism to an externally applied electric current. It is a measure of the oppostion to the flow of that electric current through the tissues, the opposite of electrical conductivity. The measurement of the bioimpedance (or bioelectrical impedance) of the humans and animals has proved useful as a non-invasive method for measuring such things as blood flow (often referred to as bioimpedance plethysmography) and body composition ( known as bioelectrical impedance analysis or simply BIA).

In bioimpedance plethysmography, the measure is sometimes based on pulsatile blood volume changes in the aorta. Bioimpedance is relevant to the development of devices to measure cardiac output and circulating blood volume. Electrical conductivity can vary as a result of breathing. Because of this and other sources of variability, the reliability of bioimpedance for obtaining accurate data has been called into question. Nevertheless, the technique is used in both routine clinical medicine and research.

BIA has found a much sounder footing and is the basis of a number of commercially available body composition analysers. See Bioelectrical impedance analysis for more details.

Used in the diagnoses, treatment and management of lymphedema.

glossary/bioimpedance.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)