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Electrical impedance tomography in anisotropic media with known eigenvectors

Abascal, JFPJ; Lionheart, WRB; Arridge, SR; Schweiger, M; Atkinson, D; Holder, DS; (2011) Electrical impedance tomography in anisotropic media with known eigenvectors. INVERSE PROBL , 27 (6) , Article 065004. 10.1088/0266-5611/27/6/065004.

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Electrical impedance tomography is an imaging method, with which volumetric images of conductivity are produced by injecting electrical current and measuring boundary voltages. It has the potential to become a portable non-invasive medical imaging technique. Until now, most implementations have neglected anisotropy even though human tissues like bone, muscle and brain white matter are markedly anisotropic. The recovery of an anisotropic conductivity tensor is uniquely determined by boundary measurements only up to a diffeomorphism that fixes the boundary. Nevertheless, uniqueness can be restored by providing information about the diffeomorphism. There are uniqueness results for two constraints: one eigenvalue and a multiple scalar of a general tensor. A useable constraint for medical applications is when the eigenvectors of the underlying tissue are known, which can be approximated from MRI or estimated from DT-MRI, although the eigenvalues are unknown. However there is no known theoretical result guaranteeing uniqueness for this constraint. In fact, only a few previous inversion studies have attempted to recover one or more eigenvalues assuming certain symmetries while ignoring nonuniqueness. In this work, the aim was to undertake a numerical study of the feasibility of the recovery of a piecewise linear finite element conductivity tensor in anisotropic media with known eigenvectors from the complete boundary data. The work suggests that uniqueness holds for this constraint, in addition to proposing a methodology for the incorporation of this prior for general conductivity tensors. This was carried out by performing an analysis of the Jacobian rank and by reconstructing four conductivity distributions: two diagonal tensors whose eigenvalues were linear and sinusoidal functions, and two general tensors whose eigenvectors resembled physiological tissue, one with eigenvectors spherically orientated like a spherical layered structure, and a sample of DT-MRI data of brain white matter. The Jacobian with respect to three eigenvalues was full-rank and it was possible to recover three eigenvalues for the four simulated distributions. This encourages further theoretical study of the uniqueness for this constraint and supports the use of this as a relevant usable method for medical applications.

Type: Article
Title: Electrical impedance tomography in anisotropic media with known eigenvectors
DOI: 10.1088/0266-5611/27/6/065004
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1302391
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