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This article is the author's final published version in Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, Volume 16, 2023, Pg. 219 - 227.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited.


Purpose: The change in the amplitude of a peripheral pulse in response to a Valsalva maneuver has diagnostic utility for assessing volume status at the bedside. We have developed a device to automatically quantify the Valsalva pulse response (VPR) to a standardized Valsalva maneuver that the device guides a user to perform. In this study, we sought to determine whether VPR by the device, Indicor, is sensitive enough to detect the acute increase in central pressure and volume load that occurs with a passive leg raise (PLR) in healthy volunteers.

Methods: Healthy volunteers were tested semirecumbently at 45 degrees, then again after being leaned back on a pivoted wedge with legs raised at 45 degrees and torso and head flat, and then again in the semirecumbent position. The device recorded a finger photoplethysmography (PPG) signal during a 10-second expiratory effort of 20 mmHg as guided by the device. VPR was automatically calculated as the ratio of the end-Valsalva pulse amplitude to the baseline pulse amplitude.

Results: In the 30 participants who completed testing, VPR increased from baseline to PLR in every participant, from 0.34 ± 0.13 to 0.60 ± 0.14 (p < 0.0001). Back upright, VPR decreased back to 0.33 ± 0.10 (p < 0.0001 versus PLR; NS versus baseline position).

Conclusion: In this proof-of-concept study of healthy participants, the Indicor device, a noninvasive, convenient device that automatically calculates VPR from a finger photoplethysmography signal during a standardized Valsalva maneuver, was sensitive enough to detect the increase in VPR that occurred with an acute central volume load from a PLR. Future studies should examine whether VPR responds differently to a PLR in heart failure patients with abnormal cardiac performance and/or congestion.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License