This paper is a part of research to develop convenient method for continuous monitoring of arterial blood pressure by non-invasive and non-oscillometric way. A simple optical method, using self-mixing in a diode laser, is used for detection of skin surface vibrations near the artery. These vibrations, which can reveal the pulsate propagation of blood pressure waves along the vasculature, are used for pulse wave registration. The registration of the Pulse Wave Transit Time (PWTT) is based on computing the time delay in different regions of the human body using an ECG as a reference signal. In this study, the comparison of method of optical self-mixing with other methods as photoplethysmographic (PPG) and bioimpedance (BI) for PWTT is done. Also correlation of PWTT, obtained with different methods, with arterial blood pressure is calculated.
In our study, we used a group of volunteers (34 persons) who made the bicycle exercise test. The test consisted of cycling sessions of increasing workloads during which the HR changed from 60 to 180 beats per minute. In addition, a blood pressure (NIBP) was registered with standard sphygmomanometer once per minute during the test and all NIBP measurement values were synchronized to other signals to find exact time moments where the systolic blood pressure was detected (Korotkoff sounds starting point). Computer later interpolated the blood pressure signal in order to get individual value for every heart cycle. The other signals were measured continuously during all tests. At the end of every session, a recovery period was included until person's NIBP and heart rate (HR) normalized.
As a result of our study it turned out that time intervals that were calculated from plethysmographic (PPG) waveforms were in the best correlation with systolic blood pressure. The diastolic pressure does not correlate with any of the parameters representing PWTT. The pulse wave signals measured by laser and piezoelectric transducer are very similar and do not have any qualitative differences. Since the detection of pulse wave by piezoelectric transducer is less complicated than laser detection, the piezo transducer should be preferred in such cases, but advantage of optical method of measurement is absent of any mechanical influence to artery.