Intraoperative hypotension is associated with postoperative complications and death. Oscillometric brachial cuffs are used to measure arterial pressure (AP) in most surgical patients but may miss acute changes in AP. We hypothesized that pulse oximeter waveform analysis may help to detect changes in systolic AP (SAP) and mean AP (MAP) during anesthesia induction.
In 40 patients scheduled for an elective surgery necessitating general anesthesia and invasive AP monitoring, we assessed the performance of a pulse oximeter waveform analysis algorithm (optical blood pressure monitoring [oBPM]) to estimate SAP, MAP, and their changes during the induction of general anesthesia. Acute AP changes (>20%) in SAP and MAP assessed by the reference invasive method and by oBPM were compared using 4-quadrant and polar plots. The tracking ability of the algorithm was evaluated on changes occurring over increasingly larger time spans, from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. The second objective of the study was to assess the ability of the oBPM algorithm to cope with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) standards. The accuracy and precision of oBPM in estimating absolute SAP and MAP values compared to the invasive method was evaluated at various instants after algorithm calibration, from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
Rapid changes (occurring over time spans of ≤60 seconds) in SAP and MAP assessed by oBPM were strongly correlated and showed excellent concordance with changes in invasive AP (worst-case Pearson correlation of 0.94 [0.88, 0.97] [95% confidence interval], concordance rate of 100% [100%, 100%], and angular concordance rate at ±30° of 100% [100%, 100%]). The trending ability tended to decrease progressively as the time span over which the changes occurred increased, reaching 0.89 (0.85, 0.91) (Pearson correlation), 97% (95%, 100%) (concordance rate), and 90% (85%, 94%) (angular concordance rate) in the worst case. Regarding accuracy and precision, oBPM-derived SAP values were shown to comply with AAMI criteria up to 2 minutes after calibration, whereas oBPM-derived MAP values were shown to comply with criteria at all times.
Pulse oximeter waveform analysis was useful to track rapid changes in SAP and MAP during anesthesia induction. A good agreement with reference invasive measurements was observed for MAP up to at least 5 minutes after initial calibration. In the future, this method could be used to track changes in AP between intermittent oscillometric measurements and to automatically trigger brachial cuff inflation when a significant change in AP is detected.
- Question: Is it possible to track acute changes in arterial pressure (AP) via the analysis of fingertip photoplethysmographic signals during induction of general anesthesia?
- Findings: Changes in systolic and mean AP assessed noninvasively by pulse oximeter waveform analysis were strongly correlated and showed excellent concordance with changes in invasive AP.
- Meaning: The results suggest the possibility of tracking AP noninvasively and accurately during induction of general anesthesia by means of a standard pulse oximeter.