Non-invasive measurement of local pulse pressure by pulse wave-based ultrasound manometry (PWUM)

Physiol Meas. 2011 Oct;32(10):1653-62. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/32/10/012. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Central blood pressure (CBP) has been established as a relevant indicator of cardiovascular disease. Despite its significance, CBP remains particularly challenging to measure in standard clinical practice. The objective of this study is to introduce pulse wave-based ultrasound manometry (PWUM) as a simple-to-use, non-invasive ultrasound-based method for quantitative measurement of the central pulse pressure. Arterial wall displacements are estimated using radiofrequency ultrasound signals acquired at high frame rates and the pulse pressure waveform is estimated using both the distension waveform and the local pulse wave velocity. The method was tested on the abdominal aorta of 11 healthy subjects (age 35.7 ± 16 y.o.). PWUM pulse pressure measurements were compared to those obtained by radial applanation tonometry using a commercial system. The average intra-subject variability of the pulse pressure amplitude was found to be equal to 4.2 mmHg, demonstrating good reproducibility of the method. Excellent correlation was found between the waveforms obtained by PWUM and those obtained by tonometry in all subjects (0.94 < r < 0.98). A significant bias of 4.7 mmHg was found between PWUM and tonometry. PWUM is a highly translational method that can be easily integrated in clinical ultrasound imaging systems. It provides an estimate of the pulse pressure waveform at the imaged location, and may offer therefore the possibility to estimate the pulse pressure at different arterial sites. Future developments include the validation of the method against invasive estimates on patients, as well as its application to other large arteries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteries / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Manometry / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonics / methods*
  • Wavelet Analysis*
  • Young Adult