Reliability of blood pressure determination with the Finapres with altered physiological states or pharmacodynamic conditions

Danny McAuley, B. Silke, S. Farrell

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The blood pressure waveform is modified on distal propagation by phenomena such as dispersion, reflection and the state of the arterial compliance. The consequent effects are amplification and narrowing of the wave, with an increased systolic, reduced diastolic and essentially unaltered mean blood pressure. The Finapres measures the peripheral pressure using the volume clamp principle; it has not been validated under altered physiological conditions and during pharmacodynamic interventions. We studied simultaneous Finapres and brachial blood pressures (using a conventional oscillometric sphygmomanometer—Vitalmap) in ten normal volunteers at rest, and during dynamic exercise and a cold pressor test. The effects of pharmacodynamic intervention were examined following beta-adrenoceptor blockade with propranolol (160 mg) or beta-adrenoceptor modulation with the beta-adrenoceptor partial agonist celiprolol (400 mg). The Finapres systolic pressure was significantly higher than the brachial value during all three test states. The difference between the systolic pressures measured by the two devices was shown to increase significantly during the cold pressor test, but not during dynamic (supine bicycle) exercise. The Finapres diastolic pressure was significantly higher than the Vitalmap value during exercise and the cold pressor test. The differences between the two methods increased significantly over time. Beta-adrenergic blockade with propranolol or modulation with celiprolol had no significant interaction with the pressure differences between the Finapres and Vitalmap techniques. The results would support the view that the Finapres can provide blood pressure information which is robust under most circumstances. Although this pharmacodynamic intervention did not alter the relationship between the peripheral and central blood pressure, it is important to note that this dynamic relationship is sensitive to circulatory loading conditions and wave transmission characteristics; it is possible that the Finapres could be less reliable in clinical settings where potent vasoactive agents were being administered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


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