Photoplethysmogram (PPG) and its second derivative of the photoplethysmogram (SDPTG) are simple and low cost optical techniques for detecting and tracking blood volume changes. The PPG waveform and its SDPTG have been used by many scholars to obtain valuable information about heart and cardiovascular system. Since PPG and SDPTG reflect blood volume changes, much work has been done on its application as a diagnostic tool for screening arterial structure and its related diseases and disorders. In this article, we first provide a short review of the effects of atherosclerosis in losing arterial elasticity. Secondly, we introduce the PPG waveform and discuss in details the analysis methods and applications of its SDPTG waveform. Finally, we demonstrate links between elastic properties of arteries, atherosclerosis, PPG and SDPTG. The main focus of the review is on the analysis methods and applications of SDPTG.
Key words: Photoplethysmogram (PPG), second derivative of the photoplethysmogram (SDPTG), atherosclerosis, aging, arterial stiffness, distensibility, morphological changes, endothelial function.
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