To determine if, when using the oscillometric method, there is a specific range of amplitude ratios in the fixed-ratio algorithm that will result in blood pressure estimates that consistently fall within a mean error ≤5 mmHg and a SD of the error <8 mmHg. Additionally, to apply different representations of the oscillometric waveform envelope to verify if this will affect the accuracy of the results.
SBP and DBP were obtained using the fixed-ratios method applied to a dataset of 219 oscillometric measurements obtained from 73 healthy volunteers and compared to their corresponding auscultation values. Ratio and envelope analysis were done on Matlab (The MathWorks, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts, USA).
Depending on the envelope representation, ratios between 0.44–0.74 for systolic pressure and 0.51–0.85 for diastolic pressure yield results within the limits mentioned above. When a set of optimum envelope representations and ratios are selected based on population mean, the highest percentage of subjects presenting blood pressure estimates within the limits were 72.6% for systolic and 69.9% for diastolic.
The range of ratios presenting optimum results appears to be independent of the degree of arterial stiffness given the wide range of ages of the subjects in the study. Different representations of the oscillometric waveform envelope may improve the accuracy of the method. However, there remains a considerable percentage of the population with unreliable results. It is therefore important to only use devices that have been properly validated according to standard protocol.