Usefulness of a noninvasive device to identify elevated left ventricular filling pressure using finger photoplethysmography during a Valsalva maneuver.

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The American journal of cardiology.

MeSH Headings

Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Blood Pressure, Blood Volume, Cardiac Catheterization, Equipment Design, Female, Fingers, Heart Failure, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Photoplethysmography, Sensitivity and Specificity, Transducers, Pressure, Valsalva Maneuver, Ventricular Dysfunction, Left


The high rate of re-hospitalization for heart failure might be reduced by improving noninvasive techniques for identifying elevated left ventricular (LV) filling pressure. We previously showed that changes in a finger photoplethysmography (PPG) waveform during the Valsalva maneuver (VM) reflect invasively measured LV end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP). We have since developed a hand-held device that analyzes PPG while guiding the expiratory effort of a VM. Here we assessed the sensitivity and specificity of this device for identifying elevated LVEDP in patients. We tested 82 participants (28 women), aged 40 to 85 years, before a clinically indicated left heart catheterization. Each performed a VM between 18 and 25 mm Hg for 10 seconds into a pressure transducer. PPG was recorded continuously before and during the VM. LVEDP was measured during the catheterization. An equation for calculating LVEDP was derived using (1) ratio of signal amplitudes: minimum during VM to average at baseline, (2) ratio of peak-to-peak time intervals: minimum during VM to average at baseline, and (3) mean blood pressure. Calculated and measured LVEDP were compared. The range of measured LVEDP was 4 to 35 mm Hg. Calculated LVEDP correlated with measured LVEDP (p20 mm Hg had a 70% sensitivity and 86% specificity for identifying measured LVEDP >20 mm Hg (area under receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.83). In conclusion, a hand-held device for assessing LV filling pressure had high specificity and good sensitivity for identifying LVEDP >20 mm Hg, a clinically meaningful threshold in heart failure.



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