Ballistocardiography: Promise and Practice

  • M. T. Manley


The recording of the displacement (and its derivatives) of the centre of mass of a subject in space due to mass movements within the cardiovascular system (now known as ballistocardiography) has been practised for many years. In 1877 a barrister named Gordon produced one such record by laying a patient on a bed suspended from long wires and monitoring the motion of the bed by means of a lever arrangement and a smoked drum (Gordon, 1877). The technique appeared again in the literature on a few occasions over the next sixty years (notably Henderson, 1905) but did not receive serious attention until 1939 when Starr built an instrument specifically designed to monitor cardiovascular force actions and named it a ballistocardiograph (Starr et al., 1939).


Aortic Valve Ischaemic Heart Disease Simultaneous Recording Carbon Fibre Composite Cardiovascular Dynamic 
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Copyright information

© Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. T. Manley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StrathclydeGlasgowScotland

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