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Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals and blood oxygen saturation values on healthy volunteers during cuff-induced hypoperfusion using a multimode PPG/SpO2 sensor


Photoplethysmography (PPG) is a technique widely used to monitor volumetric blood changes induced by cardiac pulsations. Pulse oximetry uses the technique of PPG to estimate arterial oxygen saturation values (\(\hbox{SpO}_2\)). In poorly perfused tissues, \(\hbox{SpO}_2\) readings may be compromised due to the poor quality of the PPG signals. A multimode finger PPG probe that operates simultaneously in reflectance, transmittance and a combined mode called “transreflectance” was developed, in an effort to improve the quality of the PPG signals in states of hypoperfusion. Experiments on 20 volunteers were conducted to evaluate the performance of the multimode PPG sensor and compare the results with a commercial transmittance pulse oximeter. A brachial blood pressure cuff was used to induce artificial hypoperfusion. Results showed that the amplitude of the transreflectance AC PPG signals were significantly different (p < 0.05) than the AC PPG signals obtained from the other two conventional PPG sensors (reflectance and transmittance). At induced brachial pressures between 90 and 135 mmHg, the reflectance finger pulse oximeter failed 25 times (failure rate 42.2 %) to estimate SpO2 values, whereas the transmittance pulse oximeter failed 8 times (failure rate 15.5 %). The transreflectance pulse oximeter failed only 3 times (failure rate 6.8 %) and the commercial pulse oximeter failed 17 times (failure rate 29.4 %).

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Shafique, M., Kyriacou, P.A. & Pal, S.K. Investigation of photoplethysmographic signals and blood oxygen saturation values on healthy volunteers during cuff-induced hypoperfusion using a multimode PPG/SpO2 sensor. Med Biol Eng Comput 50, 575–583 (2012).

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