On the Detection of Messages Carried in Arterial Pulse Waves

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Dai, R. Dou, Y. C. Fung

Department of AMES/Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. 92093

H. Xue

Department of AMES/Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. 92093; and Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

J Biomech Eng 107(3), 268-273 (Aug 01, 1985) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138552 History: Received March 25, 1985; Online June 15, 2009


The hypothesis is made that a disturbance in blood flow at one place can be detected in the arterial pulse waves at a distant site. This hypothesis was motivated by the traditional Chinese medicine which uses arterial pulse waves as a principal means of diagnosis. We formulated a test by asking whether a disturbance to the blood flow in a leg can be detected by changes in the pulse waves in the radial arteries. In particular, we ask whether the radial artery can differentiate a disturbance in the right leg from that in the left leg. We put force transducers on the radial arteries, depressed them by a specific amount, and recorded the force waves in response to a 2-min occlusion of the blood flow in the right or left tibial artery. The results show that the radial artery force waves do change in response to the flow disturbance. For a given individual, the force varies with the location of the force transducer on the radial artery, the specific amount of initial depression, and the right or left leg occlusion. Generally, an occlusion in the right leg reduces the force level in both radial arteries, the more so in the right radial artery than in the left. Although the discrimination is not very strong, the phenomenon is novel, and warrants further investigation.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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