Pilot investigation of photoplethysmographic signals and blood oxygen saturation values during blood pressure cuff-induced hypoperfusion

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Kyriacou, P. A. ; Shafqat, K. ; Pal, S. K. (2009)

Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a non-invasive electro-optical technique widely used in the monitoring of the pulsations associated with changes in blood volume in a peripheral vascular bed. The technique is based on the absorption properties of vascular tissue when it is transilluminated by light. Photoplethysmography is also used in the estimation of arterial blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) by pulse oximetry where the technique relies on the presence of adequate peripheral arterial pulsations. The aim of this study was to investigate (14 healthy volunteers) the effect of pressure cuff-induced hypoperfusion on PPG signals and SpO2s using a custom made finger blood oxygen saturation PPG/SpO2 sensor and a commercial finger pulse oximeter. PPG signals with high signal-to-noise ratios were obtained from all induced pressures prior to full brachial occlusion. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on ranks showed that there are statistically significant differences (p<0.05) between the PPGs in the low pressures (0–80 mmHg) than those in the upper pressures (90–150 mmHg). Both pulse oximeters showed gradual decrease of saturations during induced hypoperfusion which demonstrate the direct relation between blood volumes (PPG amplitudes), arterial vessel stenosis and blood oxygen saturation. The custom made pulse oximeter was found to be more sensitive to SpO2 changes than the commercial pulse oximeter especially at high occluding pressures.
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