A pulse wave velocity based method to assess the mean arterial blood pressure limits of autoregulation in peripheral arteries

Ananya Tripathi, Yurie Obata, Pavel Ruzankin, Narwan Askaryar, Dan E. Berkowitz, Jochen Steppan, Viachaslau Barodka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Constant blood flow despite changes in blood pressure, a phenomenon called autoregulation, has been demonstrated for various organ systems. We hypothesized that by changing hydrostatic pressures in peripheral arteries, we can establish these limits of autoregulation in peripheral arteries based on local pulse wave velocity (PWV). Methods: Electrocardiogram and plethysmograph waveforms were recorded at the left and right index fingers in 18 healthy volunteers. Each subject changed their left arm position, keeping the right arm stationary. Pulse arrival times (PAT) at both fingers were measured and used to calculate PWV. We calculated ΔPAT (ΔPWV), the differences between the left and right PATs (PWVs), and compared them to the respective calculated blood pressure at the left index fingertip to derive the limits of autoregulation. Results: ΔPAT decreased and ΔPWV increased exponentially at low blood pressures in the fingertip up to a blood pressure of 70 mmHg, after which changes in ΔPAT and ΔPWV were minimal. The empirically chosen 20 mmHg window (75-95 mmHg) was confirmed to be within the autoregulatory limit (slope = 0.097, p = 0.56). ΔPAT and ΔPWV within a 20 mmHg moving window were not significantly different from the respective data points within the control 75-95 mmHg window when the pressure at the fingertip was between 56 and 110 mmHg for ΔPAT and between 57 and 112 mmHg for ΔPWV. Conclusions: Changes in hydrostatic pressure due to changes in arm position significantly affect peripheral arterial stiffness as assessed by ΔPAT and ΔPWV, allowing us to estimate peripheral autoregulation limits based on PWV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number855
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017


  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Limits of autoregulation
  • Peripheral artery
  • Pulse arrival time
  • Pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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