Non-invasive pulsatile arterial pressure and stroke volume changes from the human finger

Exp Physiol. 2005 Jul;90(4):437-46. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2005.030262. Epub 2005 Mar 31.


In this paper we review recent developments in the methodology of non-invasive finger arterial pressure measurement and the information about arterial flow that can be obtained from it. Continuous measurement of finger pressure based on the volume-clamp method was introduced in the early 1980s both for research purposes and for clinical medicine. Finger pressure tracks intra-arterial pressure but the pressure waves may differ systematically both in shape and magnitude. Such bias can, at least partly, be circumvented by reconstruction of brachial pressure from finger pressure by using a general inverse anti-resonance model correcting for the difference in pressure waveforms and an individual forearm cuff calibration. The Modelflow method as implemented in the Finometer computes an aortic flow waveform from peripheral arterial pressure by simulating a non-linear three-element model of the aortic input impedance. The methodology tracks fast changes in stroke volume (SV) during various experimental protocols including postural stress and exercise. If absolute values are required, calibration against a gold standard is needed. Otherwise, Modelflow-measured SV is expressed as change from control with the same precision in tracking. Beat-to-beat information on arterial flow offers important and clinically relevant information on the circulation beyond what can be detected by arterial pressure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Humans
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Stroke Volume / physiology*