Errors Due to Measuring Voltage on Current-Carrying Electrodes in Electric Current Computed Tomography

Kuo Sheng Cheng, Steven J. Simske, David Isaacson, Jonathan C. Newell, David G. Gisser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Electric current computed tomography is a process for determining the distribution of electrical conductivity inside a body based upon measurements of voltage or current made at the body's surface. Most such systems use different electrodes for the application of current and the measurement of voltage. This paper shows that when a multiplicity of electrodes are attached to a body’s surface, the voltage data are most sensitive to changes in resistivity in the body's interior when voltages are measured from all electrodes, including those carrying current. This assertion is true despite the presence of significant levels of skin impedance at the electrodes. This conclusion is supported both theoretically and by experiment. Data were first taken using all electrodes for current and voltage. Then current was applied only at a pair of electrodes, with voltages measured on all other electrodes. We then constructed the second data set by calculation from the first. Targets could be detected with better signal-to-noise ratio by using the reconstructed data than by using the directly measured voltages on noncurrent-carrying electrodes. Images made from voltage data using only noncurrent-carrying electrodes had higher noise levels and were less able to accurately locate targets. We conclude that in multiple electrode systems for electric current computed tomography, current should be applied and voltage should be measured from all available electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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