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Physiol Meas. 2008 Nov;29(11):1267-80. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/29/11/003. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

Determining carotid artery pressure from scaled diameter waveforms: comparison and validation of calibration techniques in 2026 subjects.

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  • 1IBiTech-Cardiovascular Mechanics and Biofluid Dynamics, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185 (Blok B), B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


Calibrated diameter distension waveforms could provide an alternative for local arterial pressure assessment more widely applicable than applanation tonometry. We compared linearly and exponentially calibrated carotid diameter waveforms to tonometry readings. Local carotid pressures measured by tonometry and diameter waveforms measured by ultrasound were obtained in 2026 subjects participating in the Asklepios study protocol. Diameter waveforms were calibrated using a linear and an exponential calibration scheme and compared to measured tonometry waveforms by examining the mean root-mean-squared error (RMSE), carotid systolic blood pressure (SBPcar) and augmentation index (AIx) of calibrated and measured pressures. Mean RMSE was 5.2(3.3) mmHg (mean(stdev)) for linear and 4.6(3.6) mmHg for exponential calibration. Linear calibration yielded an underestimation of SBPcar by 6.4(4.1) mmHg which was strongly correlated to values of brachial pulse pressure (PPbra) (R = 0.4, P < 0.05). Exponential calibration underestimated true SBPcar by 1.9(3.9) mmHg, independent of PPbra. AIx was overestimated by linear calibration by 1.9(10.1)%, the difference significantly increasing with increasing AIx (R = 0.25, P < 0.001) and by exponential calibration by 5.4(10.6)%, independently of the value of AIx. Properly calibrated diameter waveforms offer a viable alternative for local pressure estimation at the carotid artery. Compared to linear calibration, exponential calibration significantly improves the pressure estimation.

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