University of Oulu

Aleksandra Zienkiewicz et al 2021 Physiol. Meas. 42 115007,

Blood pressure wave propagation : a multisensor setup for cerebral autoregulation studies

Saved in:
Author: Zienkiewicz, Aleksandra1; Favre, Michelle2; Ferdinando, Hany3;
Organizations: 1Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, United States of America
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: IOP Publishing, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-12


Objective: Cerebral autoregulation is critically important to maintain proper brain perfusion and supply the brain with oxygenated blood. Non-invasive measures of blood pressure (BP) are critical in assessing cerebral autoregulation. Wave propagation velocity may be a useful technique to estimate BP but the effect of the location of the sensors on the readings has not been thoroughly examined. In this paper, we were interested in studying whether the propagation velocity of a pressure wave in the direction from the heart to the brain may differ compared with propagation from the heart to the periphery, as well as across different physiological tasks and/or health conditions. Using non-invasive sensors simultaneously placed at different locations of the human body allows for the study of how the propagation velocity of the pressure wave, based on pulse transit time (PTT), varies across different directions.

Approach: We present a multi-sensor BP wave propagation measurement setup intended for cerebral autoregulation studies. The presented sensor setup consists of three sensors, one placed on each of the neck, chest and finger, allowing simultaneous measurement of changes in BP propagation velocity towards the brain and to the periphery. We show how commonly tested physiological tasks affect the relative changes of PTT and correlations with BP.

Main results: We observed that during maximal blow, valsalva and breath hold breathing tasks, the relative changes of PTT were higher when PTT was measured in the direction from the heart to the brain than from the heart to the peripherals. In contrast, during a deep breathing task, the relative change in PTT from the heart to the brain was lower. In addition, we present a short literature review of the PTT methods used in brain research.

Significance: These preliminary data suggest that the physiological task and direction of PTT measurement may affect relative PTT changes. The presented three-sensor setup provides an easy and neuroimaging compatible method for cerebral autoregulation studies by allowing measurement of BP wave propagation velocity towards the brain versus towards the periphery.

see all

Series: Physiological measurement
ISSN: 0967-3334
ISSN-E: 1361-6579
ISSN-L: 0967-3334
Volume: 42
Issue: 11
Article number: 115007
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6579/ac3629
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
Funding: This work was partly supported by the Academy of Finland (grants 318347 and 335723).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318347
Detailed Information: 318347 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
335723 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published on behalf of Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s)and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.