ReviewsContour analysis of the photoplethysmographic pulse measured at the fingerMillasseau, Sandrine Ca; Ritter, James Ma; Takazawa, Kenjib; Chowienczyk, Philip JaAuthor Information aCardiovascular Division, King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK bDepartment of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan Received 12 November, 2005 Revised 12 January, 2006 Accepted 12 February, 2006 Correspondence and requests for reprints to Prof. P. Chowienczyk, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK Tel: +44 20 7188 1504; fax: +44 20 7401 2242; e-mail: [email protected] Sponsorship: S.C.M. was funded by Micro Medical Ltd. P.J.C. has grant support from Micro Medical and Omron Health Care. Conflict of interest: S.C.M. was funded by Micro Medical Ltd (manufacturer of pulse wave equipment). P.J.C. was a shareholder and director of Micro Medical Ltd until March 2005, and has grant support from Micro Medical and Omron Health Care. Journal of Hypertension: August 2006 - Volume 24 - Issue 8 - p 1449-1456 doi: 10.1097/01.hjh.0000239277.05068.87 Buy Metrics Abstract Analysis of the contour of the peripheral pulse to assess arterial properties was first described in the nineteenth century. With the recognition of the importance of arterial stiffness there has been a resurgence of interest in pulse wave analysis, particularly the analysis of the radial pressure pulse acquired using a tonometer. An alternative technique utilizes a volume pulse. This may conveniently be acquired optically from a finger (digital volume pulse). Although less widely used, this technique deserves further consideration because of its simplicity and ease of use. As with the pressure pulse, the contour of the digital volume pulse is sensitive to changes in arterial tone induced by vasoactive drugs and is influenced by ageing and large artery stiffness. Measurements taken directly from the digital volume pulse or from its second derivative can be used to assess these properties. This review describes the background to digital volume pulse contour analysis, how the technique relates to contour analysis of the pressure pulse, and current and future applications. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.