The pulse contour method is often used with the Windkessel model to measure stroke volume. We used a digital pressure and flow sensors to detect the parameters of the Windkessel model from the pulse waveform. The objective of this study was to assess the stability and accuracy of this method by making use of the passive leg raising test. We studied 24 healthy subjects (40 ± 9.3 years), and used the Medis®
CS 1000, an impedance cardiography, as the comparing reference. The pulse contour method measured the waveform of the brachial artery by using a cuff. The compliance and resistance of the peripheral artery was detected from the cuff characteristics and the blood pressure waveform. Then, according to the method proposed by Romano et al., the stroke volume could be measured. This method was implemented in our designed blood pressure monitor. A passive leg raising test, which could immediately change the preloading of the heart, was done to certify the performance of our method. The pulse contour method and impedance cardiography simultaneously measured the stroke volume. The measurement of the changes in stroke volume using the pulse contour method had a very high correlation with the Medis®
CS 1000 measurement, the correlation coefficient of the changed ratio and changed differences in stroke volume were r2
= 0.712 and r2
= 0.709, respectively. It was shown that the stroke volume measured by using the pulse contour method was not accurate enough. But, the changes in the stroke volume could be accurately measured with this pulse contour method. Changes in stroke volume are often used to understand the conditions of cardiac preloading in the clinical field. Moreover, the operation of the pulse contour method is easier than using impedance cardiography and echocardiography. Thus, this method is suitable to use in different healthcare fields.
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