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Photoplethysmography for blood volumes and oxygenation changes during intermittent vascular occlusions

Abay, T. Y. & Kyriacou, P. A. (2017). Photoplethysmography for blood volumes and oxygenation changes during intermittent vascular occlusions. Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, 32(3), pp. 447-455. doi: 10.1007/s10877-017-0030-2


Photoplethysmography (PPG) is an optical technique that measures blood volume variations. The main application of dual-wavelength PPG is pulse oximetry, in which the arterial oxygen saturation (SpO[Formula: see text]) is calculated noninvasively. However, the PPG waveform contains other significant physiological information that can be used in conjunction to SpO[Formula: see text] for the assessment of oxygenation and blood volumes changes. This paper investigates the use of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) processing techniques for extracting relative concentration changes of oxygenated ([Formula: see text]HbO[Formula: see text]), reduced ([Formula: see text]HHb) and total haemoglobin ([Formula: see text]tHb) from dual-wavelength PPG signals during intermittent pressure-increasing vascular occlusions. A reflectance PPG sensor was attached on the left forearm of nineteen (n = 19) volunteers, along with a reference NIRS sensor positioned on the same forearm, above the left brachioradialis. The investigation protocol consisted of seven intermittent and pressure-increasing vascular occlusions. Relative changes in haemoglobin concentrations were obtained by applying the modified Beer-Lambert law to PPG signals, while oxygenation changes were estimated by the difference between red and infrared attenuations of DC PPGs (A[Formula: see text] = [Formula: see text]A[Formula: see text] - [Formula: see text]A[Formula: see text]) and by the conventional SpO[Formula: see text]. The [Formula: see text]HbO[Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]HHb, [Formula: see text]tHb from the PPG signals indicated significant changes in perfusion induced by either partial and complete occlusions (p < 0.05). The trends in the variables extracted from PPG showed good correlation with the same parameters measured by the reference NIRS monitor. Bland and Altman analysis of agreement between PPG and NIRS showed underestimation of the magnitude of changes by the PPG. A[Formula: see text] indicated significant changes for occlusion pressures exceeding 20 mmHg (p < 0.05) and correlation with tissue oxygenation changes measured by NIRS, while SpO[Formula: see text] had significant changes after 40 mmHg (p < 0.05). Relative changes in haemoglobin concentrations can be estimated from PPG signals and they showed a good level of accuracy in the detection of perfusion and oxygenation changes induced by different degrees of intermittent vascular occlusions. These results can open up to new applications of the PPG waveform in the detection of blood volumes and oxygenation changes.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Photoplethysmography, Vascular occlusions, Near infrared spectroscopy, Blood volumes, Oxygenation
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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