THE WAY TO ATERIOGRAPH
During daily medical work, arterial stiffness parameters were not available due to a lack of adequate measurement options. The blood pressure measured at the upper arm (brachial blood pressure) and at the aorta (central blood pressure) is significantly different.
The pulse pressure wave generated by the left ventricle passes through the aorta and is reflected by the bifurcation. When the aortic wall is stiffened, the pulse wave velocity (PWV) is increased. Until recently, the only way to obtain this data was cardiac catheterization, which is an invasive method. With the technical development, the first non-invasive solutions (applanation tonometry and the piezoelectric method) appeared about 30 years ago. The application of these methods was quite complicated: It required a well-trained staff and the measurement took a very long time. For these reasons, these solutions could not establish themselves in the clinical world.
The Tensiomed development team had the opportunity to observe the signals during a digital oscillometric blood pressure measurement on an oscilloscope. It was surprising to see how complex and simultaneously different signals could be observed at different pressure levels. From that moment on, we wanted to find out why only the maximum amplitudes from the oscillometric measurements are used to determine blood pressure and what the curves are all about.
We assumed that the oscillometric readings could provide direct information about the condition of the arteries and systemic circulation. It turned out that we identified a new discipline, arterial stiffness, which was rarely (or not at all) studied. Our mission was to develop the best and most reliable device, the arteriograph, to measure hemodynamic parameters.