Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Lily Hsu Laiho

Abstract

Pulmonary edema occurs when fluid leaks from the pulmonary capillary network into the lung interstitium and alveoli. When the heart is not able to pump blood to the body efficiently, fluid can back up into the veins that take blood through the lungs to the left atrium. This then builds up the pressure in the blood vessels and fluid is pushed into the alveoli in the lungs. The fluid reduces normal oxygen movement through the lungs and can cause impaired gas exchange and respiratory failure. There are many causes of congestive heart failure that may lead to pulmonary edema such as heart attack, any diseases of the heart that weaken or stiffen the heart muscle, a leaking or narrowed heart valve, and sudden, severe high blood pressure.

Pulmonary edema is a strong indicator of congestive heart failure in patients and therefore can be used as a gauge for congestive heart failure. One way to diagnose cardiogenic pulmonary edema constantly is through the continuous monitoring of the transthoracic impedance throughout the day. One method to achieve this constant monitoring is through the use of a cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Many patients who are at risk of heart failure have these medical devices implanted already. In these implantable cardiac devices, the connected cardiac leads can be utilized to continually screen several impedance vectors for decreases in impedance in the thoracic cavity. A pacemaker or ICD that implements Pulmonary Edema Monitoring is designed to continuously monitor these impedance vectors and alert the patient to seek medical attention. This thesis will discuss the implementation of Pulmonary Edema Monitoring via screening of multiple impedance vectors in a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator and the effectiveness of this monitoring method. Furthermore, the design, implementation, and testing of this feature will be explored in greater detail.

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