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Impedance cardiography – Old method, new opportunities. Part I. Clinical applications.Monitoring of cardiovascular hemodynamic changes requires a very expensive and highly specialized equipment and skilled medical personnel. Up to the present time, an inexpensive, non-invasive and easy-to-use method which, like Doppler echocardiography, magnetic resonance angiography or radionuclide imaging, would assess hemodynamics of the cardiovascular system was not available. A method known as impedance cardiography (ICG) or thoracic electrical bioimpedance cardiography (TEBC) meets those criteria. It is non-invasive, which is of a particular advantage over the conventional methods that require catheterization. As a result, the patient is not at risk of possible complications and the procedure is less expensive and easier. Impedance cardiography, despite its non-invasive character, has not been so far extensively used for monitoring of hemodynamic parameters in hospitalized patients. Various authors report that attempts have been continued to compare the results from ICG and those obtained by other diagnostic methods. This paper presents the use of impedance cardiography in diagnosis of hypertension, cardiac insufficiency, differentiating the causes of acute dyspnea, as well as in assessing the effects of cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart failure.
Impedance cardiography – Old method, new opportunities. Part II. Testing of cardiovascular response to various factors of work environment.Impedance cardiography seems to be a very good, although underappreciated diagnostic method. What may distinguish it from among the many research methods is the fact that it enables non-invasive monitoring of cardiac output, stroke volume and systemic vascular resistance. Holter recording of the hemodynamic parameters makes it possible to study them not only in stationary (hospital, outpatient clinic) conditions, but also during household or professional activities, e.g., during road vehicle driving. Assessment of the trends of changes in the circulatory system of the employee at work makes it possible to judge whether the type of work performed by the worker is well tolerated – whether it is not too hard or too stressful. This is important, therefore, impedance cardiography can be extensively used in occupational medicine. Provision of preventive care to workers according to current standards requires, on the one hand, the use of the latest diagnostic methods while, on the other hand, the methods must be inexpensive, because otherwise the employer would not be able or willing to pay the associated costs. Impedance cardiography meets those criteria; however, few data is available in literature worldwide on the use of this method in the research on the impact of occupational work on cardiovascular responses of the employees. This work reports the use of impedance cardiography in studies on the various aspects of work environment.