Pulse wave transit time for monitoring respiration rate

  • A. JohanssonEmail author
  • C. Ahlstrom
  • T. Lanne
  • P. Ask
Original Article


In this study, we investigate the beat-to-beat respiratory fluctuations in pulse wave transit time (PTT) and its subcomponents, the cardiac pre-ejection period (PEP) and the vessel transit time (VTT) in ten healthy subjects. The three transit times were found to fluctuate in pace with respiration. When applying a simple breath detecting algorithm, 88% of the breaths seen in a respiration air-flow reference could be detected correctly in PTT. Corresponding numbers for PEP and VTT were 76 and 81%, respectively. The performance during hypo- and hypertension was investigated by invoking blood pressure changes. In these situations, the error rates in breath detection were significantly higher. PTT can be derived from signals already present in most standard monitoring set-ups. The transit time technology thus has prospects to become an interesting alternative for respiration rate monitoring.


Pulse wave transit time Respiration rate Respiration monitoring Blood pressure Photoplethysmography 



The authors are grateful to Christina Svensson, Bettan Kindberg and Kerstin Nilsson at the Department of Clinical Physiology, Linköping University Hospital, for help and support during the measurements. This study was supported by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation, the Swedish National Centre of Excellence for Non-invasive Medical Measurements (NIMED), the Swedish Research Council (Grants 12661 and 40375701), the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (P26084-1) and the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringLinköpings universitetLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Biomedical EngineeringUniversity HospitalÖrebroSweden
  3. 3.Department of Medicine and CareLinköpings universitetLinköpingSweden

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