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Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals in the human oesophagus

Kyriacou, P. A., Gregg, A., Langford, R. M. & Jones, D. P. (1998). Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals in the human oesophagus. Paper presented at the VIII Mediterranean Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, 14 Jun - 17 Jun 1998, Lemesos, Cyprus.


The continuous monitoring of blood oxygen saturation in patients with compromised peripheral perfusion is often difficult or impossible, since conventional non-invasive techniques such as pulse oximetry fail. Measurements of oxygen saturation are unreliable when patients are peripherally cool with low cardiac output and poor peripheral circulation. These clinical situations commonly occur after major surgery including cardiopulmonary bypass. We suggest that the above difficulties might be overcome if the sensor were to monitor a more central part of the body. It is proposed to use the oesophagus as measurement site and reflection techniques on the hypothesis that this site should be better perfused. A new probe was constructed utilising miniaturised opto-electronic devices designed to fit into a transparent oesophageal stomach tube. One infrared wavelength was used in this study at 880 nm and a circuit to analyse the photoplethysmograph (PPG) signal was developed. The output PPG signals were sampled and recorded by a data acquisition system and a laptop personal computer. Initial measurements were carried out to investigate the amplitude of the pulsatile signal in the oesophagus and preliminary results are presented.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
[thumbnail of 1998 Kyriacou et al  MEDICON 98.pdf]
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