Non-contact detection of myocardium’s mechanical activity by ultrawideband RF-radar and interpretation applying electrocardiography

Thiel, F.; Kreiseler, D.; Seifert, F.
November 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Nov2009, Vol. 80 Issue 11, p114302
Academic Journal
Electromagnetic waves can propagate through the body and are reflected at interfaces between materials with different dielectric properties. Therefore the reason for using ultrawideband (UWB) radar for probing the human body in the frequency range from 100 MHz up to 10 GHz is obvious and suggests an ability to monitor the motion of organs within the human body as well as obtaining images of internal structures. The specific advantages of UWB sensors are high temporal and spatial resolutions, penetration into object, low integral power, and compatibility with established narrowband systems. The sensitivity to ultralow power signals makes them suitable for human medical applications including mobile and continuous noncontact supervision of vital functions. Since no ionizing radiation is used, and due to the ultralow specific absorption rate applied, UWB techniques permit noninvasive sensing with no potential risks. This research aims at the synergetic use of UWB sounding combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to gain complementary information for improved functional diagnosis and imaging, especially to accelerate and enhance cardiac MRI by applying UWB radar as a noncontact navigator of myocardial contraction. To this end a sound understanding of how myocardial’s mechanic is rendered by reflected and postprocessed UWB radar signals must be achieved. Therefore, we have executed the simultaneous acquisition and evaluation of radar signals with signals from a high-resolution electrocardiogram. The noncontact UWB illumination was done from several radiographic standard positions to monitor selected superficial myocardial areas during the cyclic physiological myocardial deformation in three different respiratory states. From our findings we could conclude that UWB radar can serve as a navigator technique for high and ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging and can be beneficial preserving the high resolution capability of this imaging modality. Furthermore it can potentially be used to support standard electrocardiography (ECG) analysis by complementary information where sole ECG analysis fails, e.g., electromechanical dissociation.


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