Journal of Clinical Monitoring

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 5–9 | Cite as

Does measurement of systolic blood pressure with a pulse oximeter correlate with conventional methods?

  • Pekka Talke
  • Ray J. Nichols
  • Daniel L. Traber
Original Article


The pulse oximeter is commonly used in the operating room. We evaluated the use of a pulse oximeter to monitor systolic blood pressure in 20 healthy volunteers and 42 anesthetized patients. We compared the pulse oximeter method of measuring systolic blood pressure with the cuff methods using Korotkoff sounds and Doppler ultrasound as well as with direct pressure measurement through an intraarterial cannula. Systolic blood pressure values obtained by pulse oximeter correlated well with values obtained by other conventional methods. The best correlation was found with Doppler ultrasound (r = 0.996) and the worst with arterial cannulation (r = 0.880). We conclude that this method can be used intraoperatively to measure systolic blood pressure.

Key Words

Measurement techniques: pulse oximetry Monitoring: blood pressure Equipment: blood pressure cuffs, cannulas Doppler pulse oximeters 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Yoshiya I, Shimada Y, Tanaka K. Spectrophotometric monitoring of arterial oxygen saturation in the fingertip. Med Biol Eng Comput 1980;18:27–32PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yelderman M, New W Jr. Evaluation of pulse oximetry. Anesthesiology 1983;59:349–361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kirkendall WM. Feinleib M, Freis ED, Mark AL. Recommendations for human blood pressure determination by sphygmomanometers. Dallas: American Heart Association, 1980:1146A-1155A (AHA Committee Report 70-019-B)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lawson D, Norley I, Korbon G, et al. Blood flow limits and pulse oximeter signal detection. Anesthesiology 1987;67:599–603.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gardner RM. Direct blood pressure measurement-dynamic response requirements. Anesthesiology 1981;54:227–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gravenstein JS, Paulus DA. Monitoring practice in clinical anesthesia. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1982:37–88Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wallace C, Baker D, Alpert C, et al. Comparison of blood pressure measurement by Doppler and by pulse oximetry techniques. Anesth Analg 1987;66:1018–1019PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Van Bergen FH, Weatherhead DS, Treloar AE, et al. Comparison of indirect and direct methods of measuring arterial blood pressure. Circulation 1954;10:481–490Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bruner JMR, Krenis LJ, Kunsman JM, Sherman AP. Comparison of direct and indirect methods of measuring arterial blood pressure. Med Instrum 1981;14:182–188Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hamilton WF, Dow P. An experimental study of the standing waves in the pulse propagated through the aorta. Am. J Physiol 1939;125:48–59Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Little, Brown and Company 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pekka Talke
    • 1
  • Ray J. Nichols
    • 1
  • Daniel L. Traber
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Anesthesiology and Anesthesiology ResearchThe University of Texas Medical Branch, Shriners Burns InstituteGalveston

Personalised recommendations