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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2012, Article ID 769613, 8 pages
Research Article

Human Heart Pulse Wave Responses Measured Simultaneously at Several Sensor Placements by Two MR-Compatible Fibre Optic Methods

1Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Laboratory, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland

Received 20 July 2012; Accepted 15 November 2012

Academic Editor: Rongping Wang

Copyright © 2012 Teemu Myllylä et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents experimental measurements conducted using two noninvasive fibre optic methods for detecting heart pulse waves in the human body. Both methods can be used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For comparison, the paper also performs an MRI-compatible electrocardiogram (ECG) measurement. By the simultaneous use of different measurement methods, the propagation of pressure waves generated by each heart pulse can be sensed extensively in different areas of the human body and at different depths, for example, on the chest and forehead and at the fingertip. An accurate determination of a pulse wave allows calculating the pulse transit time (PTT) of a particular heart pulse in different parts of the human body. This result can then be used to estimate the pulse wave velocity of blood flow in different places. Both measurement methods are realized using magnetic resonance-compatible fibres, which makes the methods applicable to the MRI environment. One of the developed sensors is an extraordinary accelerometer sensor, while the other one is a more common sensor based on photoplethysmography. All measurements, involving several test patients, were performed both inside and outside an MRI room. Measurements inside the MRI room were conducted using a 3-Tesla strength closed MRI scanner in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the Oulu University Hospital.