Heart and Vessels

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 279–290 | Cite as

Pulse wave travel distance as a novel marker of ventricular-arterial coupling

  • Yurie Obata
  • Pavel Ruzankin
  • Allan Gottschalk
  • Daniel Nyhan
  • Dan E. Berkowitz
  • Jochen Steppan
  • Viachaslau BarodkaEmail author
Original Article


Each stroke volume ejected by the heart is distributed along the arterial system as a pressure waveform. How far the front of the pressure waveform travels within the arterial system depends both on the pulse wave velocity (PWV) and the ejection time (ET). We tested the hypothesis that ET and PWV are coupled together, in order to produce a pulse wave travel distance (PWTD = PWV × ET) which would match the distance from the heart to the most distant site in the arterial system. The study was conducted in 11 healthy volunteers. We recorded lead II of the ECG along with pulse plethysmography at ear, finger and toe. The ET at the ear and pulse arrival time to each peripheral site were extracted. We then calculated PWV followed by PWTD for each location. Taken into account the individual subject variability PWTDToe in the supine position was 153 cm (95% CI 146–160 cm). It was not different from arterial pathway distance from the heart to the toe (D Toe 153 cm). The PWTDFinger and PWTDEar were longer than the distance from the heart to the finger and ear irrespective of body position. ETEar and PWVToe appear to be coupled in healthy subjects to produce a PWTD that is roughly equivalent to the arterial pathway distance to the toe. We propose that PWTD should be evaluated further to test its potential as a noninvasive parameter of ventricular-arterial coupling in subjects with cardiovascular diseases.


Ventricular-arterial coupling Ejection time Pulse wave velocity Arterial pathway distance Pulse wave travel distance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiac Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Sobolev Institute of MathematicsNovosibirskRussia
  3. 3.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussia

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