Pulse Wave Analysis in Objective Evaluation of Pain – a Preliminary Communication

Authors: K. Navrátil 1;  J. Hálek 2;  P. Havránek 3;  S. Binder 2
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika transplantační chirurgie IKEM Praha 1;  Ústav lékařské biofyziky LF UP v Olomouci 2;  Klinika dětské chirurgie a traumatologie 3. LF UK a FTNsP, Praha 3
Published in: Cesk Slov Neurol N 2008; 71/104(3): 303-308
Category: Review Article


The authors present the results of a peripheral pulse wave analysis obtained by screening the volume pulse of the radial artery with respect to the perception of pain. Time records of peripheral pulsation were used for the analysis in 26 patients (with an average age of 23.3 years) examined in rest and when feeling pain caused by routine surgical procedures (group l, n = 14, 53.8 % of patients) or present in a post-op period (group II, n = 12, 46.2 % of patients). An eleven-grade visual numeric scale or a universal pain assessment tool (UPAT) was used for subjective assessment of pain. The average value of the intensity of pain was 3.12 in group l and 2.33 in group II. The obtained curves were analysed visually and the results were processed statistically. Changes in the time course of the pulse wave were recorded in 25 cases (i.e. 96.15 %) during a pain experience. Two types of changes were observed – a split in the initial vibration with a loss of the characteristic dicrotism, and an expanding and levelling of the first vibration. In both the cases, relative delay in the onset of the second vibration was recorded on a non-constant basis. Both the types of changes occurred simultaneously on a single curve in 76.9 %, only the split occurred in 19.2 %, while isolated levelling was not recorded at all. In one case, changes were evaluated as non-characteristic. Subsequent statistical correlation and regression analysis did not confirm the dependence between the frequency of splits or levelling and the intensity of pain.

Key words:
peripheral pulse wave – radial artery – volume pulsation – pain measurement – visual analogue scale


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