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J Hum Hypertens. 2005 Sep;19(9):723-9.

Pulse transit time as a derived noninvasive mean to monitor arterial distensibility changes in children.

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School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Changes in arterial distensibility have been widely used to identify the presence of cardiovascular abnormalities like hypertension. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) has shown to be related to arterial distensibility. However, the lack of suitable techniques to measure PWV nonintrusively has impeded its clinical usefulness. Pulse transit time (PTT) is a noninvasive technique derived from the principle of PWV. PTT has shown its capabilities in cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory studies in adults. However, no known study has been conducted to understand the suitability and utility of PTT to estimate PWV in children. Two computational methods to derive PWV from PTT values obtained from 23 normotensive Caucasian children (19 males, aged 5-12 years old) from their finger and toe were conducted. Furthermore, the effects of adopting different postures on the PWV derivations were investigated. Statistical analyses were performed in comparison with two previous PWV studies conducted on children. Results revealed that PWV derived from the upper limb correlated significantly (P<0.05) regardless of computing methods or postures adopted. The findings here suggest that PTT measurement can be used as a convenient and noninvasive surrogate measure of derived PWV in prolonged clinical studies, especially on younger or less cooperative children. Furthermore, the simple set-up and noninvasive nature of PTT can promote its usefulness in ambulatory monitoring.

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