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Accuracy of pulse interval timing in ambulatory blood pressure measurement

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Whitbourn, Dr James Blake, Dr Frank McArdle, Dr Philip Langley, Dr Andrew SimsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Blood pressure (BP) monitors rely on pulse detection. Some blood pressure monitors use pulse timings to analyse pulse interval variability for arrhythmia screening, but this assumes that the pulse interval timings detected from BP cuffs are accurate compared with RR intervals derived from ECG. In this study we compared the accuracy of pulse intervals detected using an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABPM) with single lead ECG. Twenty participants wore an ABPM for three hours and a data logger which synchronously measured cuff pressure and ECG. RR intervals were compared with corresponding intervals derived from the cuff pressure tracings using three different pulse landmarks. Linear mixed effects models were used to assess differences between ECG and cuff pressure timings and to investigate the effect of potential covariates. In addition, the maximum number of successive oscillometric beats detectable in a measurement was assessed. From 243 BP measurements, the landmark at the foot of the oscillometric pulse was found to be associated with fewest covariates and had a random error of 9.5 ms. 99% of the cuff pressure recordings had more than 10 successive detectable oscillometric beats. RR intervals can be accurately estimated using an ABPM.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kane SA, Blake JR, McArdle FJ, Langley P, Sims AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2016

Volume: 6

Online publication date: 23/11/2016

Acceptance date: 26/10/2016

Date deposited: 24/08/2018

ISSN (print): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/srep37472


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