for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Alex Pearce, MD



Respiratory failure occurs when the lung fails to perform one or both of its roles in gas exchange; oxygenation and/or ventilation. Presentations of respiratory failure can be mild requiring supplemental oxygen via nasal cannula to more severe requiring invasive mechanical ventilation as see in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).It is important to provide supportive care through noninvasive respiratory support devices but also to minimize risk associated with those supportive devices such as ventilator induced lung injury (VILI) and/or patient self-inflicted lung injury (P-SILI). Central to risk minimization is decreasing mechanical stress and strain and optimizing transpulmonary pressure or the distending pressure across the lung, minimizing overdistention and collapse. Patient positioning impacts ventilation/perfusion and transpulmonary pressure. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is an emerging technology that offers a noninvasive, real-time, radiation free method to assess distribution of ventilation at the bedside. The investigators plan to obtain observational data regarding distribution of ventilation during routine standard of care in the ICU, with special emphasis on postural changes and effects of neuromuscular blockade, to provide insight into ventilation/perfusion matching, lung mechanics in respiratory failure, other pulmonary pathological processes.


Respiratory Failure, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult, Critical Illness, Pulmonary Disease, Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Respiratory Insufficiency, Lung Injury, Acute Lung Injury, Electrical Impedance tomography, Lung mechanics and gas exchange


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • 18 years or older
  • admitted to UC San Diego La Jolla or Hillcrest Campus Intensive Care Units
  • Patient requiring supplemental oxygen (including but no limited to nasal cannula, high flow devices, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation or mechanical ventilation

You CAN'T join if...

  • <18 years
  • Chest wall, anatomical, physical abnormalities, skin integrity issues precluding placement of electrode belt in direct contact with skin
  • Patient is too unstable to position the belt/electrodes or tolerate head of bed changes
  • Confirmed or suspected intracranial bleed, stroke, edema
  • Active implants (i.e. implantable electronic devices such as pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators, neurostimulators) or if device compatibility is in doubt
  • Pregnant or lactating patients as safety and efficacy for use of EIT in such cases has not been verified


  • University of California San Diego Health
    La Jolla California 92037 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Alex Pearce, MD
    Associate Physician Diplomate, Medicine, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 14 research publications


accepting new patients by invitation only
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Expecting 20 study participants
Last Updated