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Blood pressure regulation failures cause neurally mediated syncope often resulting in a fall. A warning device might help to make patients aware of an impending critical event or even trigger the patient to perform countermeasures such as lying down or isometric exercises. We previously demonstrated that the Pulse Arrival Time (PAT) methodology is a potential approach to enable early detection of impending faints. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether PAT can be used as an easy to measure beat-to-beat surrogate for systolic blood pressure (SBP) changes during a passive standing exercise (head-up tilt table testing (HUTT)). A significant PAT increase of more than 10 % was accompanied with a critical SBP decrease in syncope patients. Although PAT is in general not considered as a good measure of absolute blood pressure we found strong correlations (R>;0.89, P<;0.01) of SBP and PAT after PAT began to increase. Therefore, our data suggest that the pulse arrival time is useful to monitor blood pressure changes in patients with neurally mediated syncope. This might open up new avenues to prevent falls in these patients.
Date of Conference: Aug. 28 2012-Sept. 1 2012