In western society, cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death. An appropriate lifestyle and therapeutic interventions can delay the deterioration of cardiovascular disease. As a result, early detection of cardiovascular disease has received significant attention. Two of the oldest cardiovascular signals measured are blood pressure [1] and ECG [2]. These measures provide (non-) invasive estimates of cardiac and vascular function. With technical advances, the entire arterial blood pressure waveform (figure 1) became available to clinicians, allowing a major step forward in the recognition of cardiovascular disease. For example, the arterial blood pressure waveform allows for the determination of vascular stiffness, which has been shown to be an early predictor of the development of hypertension [3] and risk for myocardial infarction [4]. The arterial blood pressure waveform is also used in the early detection of shock [5, 6], guiding immediate treatment with the administration of fluids and/or vaso-active agents. Hence the evaluation of the arterial blood pressure waveform has become part of daily clinical practice.

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Dräger Medical BV, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
D.J.G.M. Duncker (Dirk) , A.P.G. Hoeks
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Houwelingen, M. J. (2011, May 11). What’s in a wave?. Retrieved from