, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 119-124

Noninvasive assessment of arterial distensibility in adolescents using the second derivative of photoplethysmogram waveform

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To clarify the clinical usefulness of the second derivative of the waveform of the fingertip photoplethysmogram (SDPTG), we examined the relationship between the pattern of the SDPTG waveform and risk factors related to atherosclerosis in 1,495 boys and girls aged 9–17 years. The fingertip photoplethysmogram and its second derivative wave were automatically recorded from the second digit of the right hand with the subjects lying in a supine position. The SDPTG waveform consisted of a, b, c and d waves in systole and an e wave in diastole. The heights of the a and d waves were measured from the baseline, and the ratio of the height of the d wave to that of the a wave (d/a ratio) was calculated. The d/a ratio had a negative correlation with the systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures (DBP), atherogenic index (AI) and immunoreactive insulin concentrations (IRI) after adjustment for age. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the d/a ratio was associated more with body height than the risk factors for atherosclerosis in boys and girls at the growth period. The effect of sex- and height-specific cutoff values of the 10th percentile for the d/a ratio was therefore tested. The results showed that subjects with d/a ratios lower than the 10th percentile had significantly higher SBP, DBP, AI and IRI values compared to those with higher d/a ratios. These findings suggest that differences in the length of the vascular system, which are related to increases in body height, may modify the SDPTG waveform pattern during adolescence. When the body height as well as age and sex is adequately allowed for, the d/a ratio may be useful for the evaluation of arterial distensibility and for identification of individuals at an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

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