In this article, we analyze the arterial pulse in the spectral domain. A parameter, the spectral harmonic energy ratio (SHER), is developed to assess the features of the overly decreased spectral energy in the fourth to sixth harmonic for palpitation patients. Compared with normal subjects, the statistical results reveal that the mean value of SHER in the patient group (57.7 ± 27.9) is significantly higher than that of the normal group (39.7 ± 20.9) (P-value = .0066 < .01). This means that the total energy in the fourth to sixth harmonic of palpitation patients is significantly less than it is in normal subjects. In other words, the spectral distribution of the arterial pulse gradually decreases for normal subjects while it decreases abruptly in higher-order harmonics (the fourth, fifth and sixth harmonics) for palpitation patients. Hence, SHER is an effective method to distinguish the two groups in the spectral domain. Also, we can thus know that a "gradual decrease" might mean a "balanced" state, whereas an "abrupt decrease" might mean an "unbalanced" state in blood circulation and pulse diagnosis. By SHER, we can determine the ratio of energy distribution in different harmonic bands, and this method gives us a novel viewpoint from which to comprehend and quantify the spectral harmonic distribution of circulation information conveyed by the arterial pulse. These concepts can be further applied to improve the clinical diagnosis not only in Western medicine but also in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

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