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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

Finger volume pulse waveforms facilitate reliable assessment of heart rate variability, but not blood pressure variability or baroreflex function

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Jonathan R Linder, Harald M Stauss, Holly Gindes, Gary L Pierce, Nicholas H Von Bergen, William G Haynes, Jess G Fiedorowicz
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2261-14-180) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

JRL, NHV, WGH, and JGF designed the study. NHV provided the Finometer and JGF provided the EndoPAT. JGF funded the study, which was conducted in his lab. JRL and HG recruited participants and collected the data. JRL performed the analyses of HRV and BPV with assistance from HMS. JGF performed the statistical analysis. JRL, HMS, GLP, NHV, WGH, JGF were involved in interpreting the analyses. JRL and JGF drafted the manuscript, which was edited with co-authors. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



We sought to determine whether heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP) variability, and baroreceptor-heart rate reflex sensitivity can be reliably assessed using finger volume pulse waveforms obtained from the commercially available EndoPAT device.


Non-invasive BP (Finometer Pro as a non-invasive standard) and finger volume (EndoPAT) waveforms were recorded in 65 adults (37 ± 14 years; 60% female) and systolic BP and heart rate (HR) time series were derived after calibrating the EndoPAT signal based on systolic and diastolic BP values obtained by a sphygomomanometer. Transfer function analyses were performed to test for coherence between systolic BP and HR time series derived from the Finometer and EndoPAT devices. Time-domain HRV parameters, frequency domain HR and systolic BP variability parameters, and baroreflex sensitivity (sequence technique) were computed from Finometer- and EndoPAT-derived time series and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated.


Squared coherence between systolic BP time series derived from the Finometer and EndoPAT devices was low, suggesting poor correlation. In contrast, squared coherence between HR time series derived from the two devices was excellent [High Frequency (HF) = 0.80, Low Frequency (LF) = 0.81], with gain values close to 1.0. ICC values for time- and frequency-domain HRV parameters were excellent (>0.9 except for relative HF HRV, which was 0.77), while ICC values for frequency-domain BP variability parameters and baroreceptor-HR reflex sensitivity were low.


Finger volume pulse waveforms can be used to reliably assess both time-domain and frequency-domain HR variability. However, frequency domain BP variability parameters cannot be reliably assessed from finger volume pulse waveforms using the simple calibration technique used in this study.
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