Models of brachial to finger pulse wave distortion and pressure decrement

Cardiovasc Res. 1997 Mar;33(3):698-705. doi: 10.1016/s0008-6363(97)00003-5.


Objective: To model the pulse wave distortion and pressure decrement occurring between brachial and finger arteries. Distortion reversion and decrement correction were also our aims.

Methods: Brachial artery pressure was recorded intra-arterially and finger pressure was recorded non-invasively by the Finapres technique in 53 adult human subjects. Mean pressure was subtracted from each pressure waveform and Fourier analysis applied to the pulsations. A distortion model was estimated for each subject and averaged over the group. The average inverse model was applied to the full finger pressure waveform. The pressure decrement was modelled by multiple regression on finger systolic and diastolic levels.

Results: Waveform distortion could be described by a general, frequency dependent model having a resonance at 7.3 Hz. The general inverse model has an anti-resonance at this frequency. It converts finger to brachial pulsations thereby reducing average waveform distortion from 9.7 (s.d. 3.2) mmHg per sample for the finger pulse to 3.7 (1.7) mmHg for the converted pulse. Systolic and diastolic level differences between finger and brachial arterial pressures changed from -4 (15) and -8 (11) to +8 (14) and +8 (12) mmHg, respectively, after inverse modelling, with pulse pressures correct on average. The pressure decrement model reduced both the mean and the standard deviation of systolic and diastolic level differences to 0 (13) and 0 (8) mmHg. Diastolic differences were thus reduced most.

Conclusion: Brachial to finger pulse wave distortion due to wave reflection in arteries is almost identical in all subjects and can be modelled by a single resonance. The pressure decrement due to flow in arteries is greatest for high pulse pressures superimposed on low means.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Brachial Artery / physiology*
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Pulsatile Flow
  • Regional Blood Flow