Background: The shape of the arterial pulse wave (PW) is a rich source of information on cardiovascular (CV) health, since it is influenced by both the heart and the vasculature. Consequently, many algorithms have been proposed to estimate clinical parameters from PWs. However, it is difficult and costly to acquire comprehensive datasets with which to assess their performance. We are aiming to address this difficulty by creating a database of simulated PWs under a range of CV conditions, representative of a healthy population. The database provided here is an initial version which has already been used to gain some novel insights into haemodynamics.
Methods: Baseline PWs were simulated using 1D computational modelling. CV model parameters were varied across normal healthy ranges to simulate a sample of subjects for each age decade from 25 to 75 years. The model was extended to simulate photoplethysmographic (PPG) PWs at common measurement sites, in addition to the pressure (ABP), flow rate (Q), flow velocity (U) and diameter (D) PWs produced by the model.
Validation: The database was verified by comparing simulated PWs with in vivo PWs. Good agreement was observed, with age-related changes in blood pressure and wave morphology well reproduced.
Conclusion: This database is a valuable resource for development and pre-clinical assessment of PW analysis algorithms. It is particularly useful because it contains several types of PWs at multiple measurement sites, and the exact CV conditions which generated each PW are known.
Future work: However, there are two limitations: (i) the database does not exhibit the wide variation in cardiovascular properties observed across a population sample; and (ii) the methods used to model changes with age have been improved since creating this initial version. Therefore, we are currently creating a more comprehensive database which addresses these limitations.