Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 54–58

Verylow frequency variability in arterial blood pressure and blood volume pulse



Several parameters of the cardiovascular system fluctuate spontaenously owing to the activity of the autonomic nervous system. In the study, the simultaneous very low frequency (VLF) fluctuations of the arterial blood pressure, the tissue blood content and the tissue blood volume pulse are investigated. The latter two parameters are derived from the baseline BL and the amplitude AM of the photoplethysmographic (PPG) signal, measured on the fingertips of 20 healthy male subjects: the changes in the PPG parameters AM and BV, defined by BV=const.-BL, are related to the change in the tissue blood volume pulse and the total tissue blood volume, respectively. The VLF fluctuations in BV and AM are directly correlated, those of AM preceding those of BV by 4–13 heart-beats. The VLF fluctuations in the systolic (SBP) and the diastolic (DBP) blood pressure are inversely correlated to those of AM and BV, those of AM preceding those of SBP and lagging behing those of DBP by about one heart-beat. For most subjects, the period P of the PPG pulse, which is equal to the cardiac cycle period, directly correlates with AM and BV and inversely correlates with DBP and SBP. On average, the fluctuations fluctuations in tissue blood volume, systolic blood volume pulse, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and heart period, together with their interrelationship, can provide a better understanding of the autonomic nervous control of the peripheral circulation and a potential tool for the evaluation of its function.


Photoplethysmography Tissue blood volume Arterial blood pressure Heart rate Variability Autonomic nervous system 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of applied Physics/Electro-OpticsJerusalem College of TechnologyJerusalemIsrael

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