Photoplethysmography in noninvasive cardiovascular assessment
thesisposted on 14.10.2009, 13:57 by Ping Shi
The electro-optic technique of measuring the cardiovascular pulse wave known as photoplethysmography (PPG) is clinically utilised for noninvasive characterisation of physiological components by dynamic monitoring of tissue optical absorption. There has been a resurgence of interest in this technique in recent years, driven by the demand for a low cost, compact, simple and portable technology for primary care and community-based clinical settings, and the advancement of computer-based pulse wave analysis techniques. PPG signal provides a means of determining cardiovascular properties during the cardiac cycle and changes with ageing and disease. This thesis focuses on the photoplethysmographic signal for cardiovascular assessment. The contour of the PPG pulse wave is influenced by vascular ageing. Contour analysis of the PPG pulse wave provides a rapid means of assessing vascular tone and arterial stiffness. In this thesis, the parameters extracted from the PPG pulse wave are examined in young adults. The results indicate that the contour parameters of the PPG pulse wave could provide a simple and noninvasive means to study the characteristic change relating to arterial stiffness. The pulsatile component of the PPG signal is due to the pumping action of the heart, and thus could reveal the circulation changes of a specific vascular bed. Heart rate variability (HRV) represents one of the most promising quantitative markers of cardiovascular control. Calculation of HRV from the peripheral pulse wave using PPG, called pulse rate variability (PRV), is investigated. The current work has confirmed that the PPG signal could provide basic information about heart rate (HR) and its variability, and highly suggests a good alternative to understanding dynamics pertaining to the autonomic nervous system (ANS) without the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) device. Hence, PPG measurement has the potential to be readily accepted in ambulatory cardiac monitoring due to its simplicity and comfort. Noncontact PPG (NPPG) is introduced to overcome the current limitations of contact PPG. As a contactless device, NPPG is especially attractive for physiological monitoring in ambulatory units, NICUs, or trauma centres, where attaching electrodes is either inconvenient or unfeasible. In this research, a prototype for noncontact reflection PPG (NRPPG) with a vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) as a light source and a high-speed PiN photodiode as a photodetector is developed. The results from physiological experiments suggest that NRPPG is reliable to extract clinically useful information about cardiac condition and function. In summary, recent evidence demonstrates that PPG as a simple noninvasive measurement offers a fruitful avenue for noninvasive cardiovascular monitoring. Key words: Photoplethysmography (PPG), Cardiovascular assessment, Pulse wave contour analysis, Arterial stiffness, Heart rate (HR), Heart rate variability (HRV), Pulse rate variability (PRV), Autonomic nervous system (ANS), Electrocardiogram (ECG).
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