Assessment of pulse rate variability by the method of pulse frequency demodulation

Junichiro Hayano, Allan Kardec Barros, Atsunori Kamiya, Nobuyuki Ohte, Fumihiko Yasuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Due to its easy applicability, pulse wave has been proposed as a surrogate of electrocardiogram (ECG) for the analysis of heart rate variability (HRV). However, its smoother waveform precludes accurate measurement of pulse-to-pulse interval by fiducial-point algorithms. Here we report a pulse frequency demodulation (PFDM) technique as a method for extracting instantaneous pulse rate function directly from pulse wave signal and its usefulness for assessing pulse rate variability (PRV). Methods: Simulated pulse wave signals with known pulse interval functions and actual pulse wave signals obtained from 30 subjects with a trans-dermal pulse wave device were analyzed by PFDM. The results were compared with heart rate and HRV assessed from simultaneously recorded ECG. Results: Analysis of simulated data revealed that the PFDM faithfully demodulates source interval function with preserving the frequency characteristics of the function, even when the intervals fluctuate rapidly over a wide range and when the signals include fluctuations in pulse height and baseline. Analysis of actual data revealed that individual means of low and high frequency components of PRV showed good agreement with those of HRV (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.997 and 0.981, respectively). Conclusions: The PFDM of pulse wave signal provides a reliable assessment of PRV. Given the popularity of pulse wave equipments, PFDM may open new ways to the studies of long-term assessment of cardiovascular variability and dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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