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Cardiovascular autonomic nervous system function can be assessed using an orthostatic challenge to induce arterial wave reflection. While arterial reflection is typically estimated using a central augmentation index, a superior estimation can be obtained using pulse wave separation analysis to estimate the aortic backward pressure wave (Pb). However, to be of value in a clinical or research setting, an assessment tool must be precise (reliable). Therefore, this study sought to determine the measurement precision of Pb responses to a modified tilt-table test. Twenty healthy adults (26.4 year (SD 5.2), 24.7kg/m2 (SD 3.8), 55% female) were tested in a fasted state on three different mornings separated by a maximum of seven days. Pressure waveforms were recorded on the left arm, and aortic waveforms were generated using a generalized transfer function. Subsequently, a physiologic flow waveform was assumed to separate the aortic pressure wave into its forward and timing-independent backward (Pb) components. The criterion intra-class correlation coefficient of ≥0.75 was exceeded at baseline (0.79), following a 5-min tilt (0.75), and following a 5-min recovery from tilt (0.75). The standard error of measurement was 7%. These findings indicate that in a healthy cohort, the Pb response to an orthostatic challenge can be assessed with acceptable precision. The next step is to determine the sensitivity (validity) of this technique in identifying cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction in patient groups.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: "Reliability of Pulse Waveform Separation Analysis Responses to an Orthostatic Challenge," which has been published in final form at 10.1038/s41440-017-0005-1.

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Hypertension Research



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