Athletic differences in the characteristics of the photoplethysmographic pulse shape: effect of maximal oxygen uptake and maximal muscular voluntary contraction

Biomed Res Int. 2015:2015:752570. doi: 10.1155/2015/752570. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


This study aimed to investigate the athletic differences in the characteristics of the photoplethysmographic (PPG) pulse shape. 304 athletes were enrolled and divided into three subgroups according to a typical sport classification in terms of the maximal oxygen uptake (MaxO2_low, MaxO2_middle and MaxO2_high groups) or the maximal muscular voluntary contraction (MMVC_low, MMVC_middle, and MMVC_high groups). Finger PPG pulses were digitally recorded and then normalized to derive the pulse area, pulse peak time T p , dicrotic notch time T n , and pulse reflection index (RI). The four parameters were finally compared between the three subgroups categorized by MaxO2 or by MMVC. In conclusion, it has been demonstrated by quantifying the characteristics of the PPG pulses in different athletes that MaxO2, but not MMVC, had significant effect on the arterial properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Photoplethysmography
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Young Adult