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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2016, Vol. 14 ›› Issue (2): 100-113.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60233-9

Special Issue: Traditional Chinese Medicine

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Traditional Chinese medicine wrist pulse-taking is associated with pulse waveform analysis and hemodynamics in hypertension

Nathalia GomesRibeiro de Mouraa, IvanCordovilb, Arthurde Sá Ferreiraa,c   

  1. a Postgraduate Program of Rehabilitation Science, Augusto Motta University Center, 21041-010, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil 
    b Division of Arterial Hypertension, National Institute of Cardiology, 22240-002, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
    c Department of Physical Therapy, Salgado de Oliveira University, 24030-060, Niterói, RJ, Brazil
  • Received:2015-06-12 Accepted:2015-07-22 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: Arthur de Sá Ferreira, D.Sc.; E-mail:,


Pulse wave analysis (PWA) quantifies the phenomenon of pulse waveform propagation in patients with cardiovascular diseases, whereas pulse image analysis (PIA) is a subjective examination in traditional Chinese medicine.


 This study evaluated the association of PIA with PWA and hemodynamics in patients with hypertension.Design, setting, participants and interventions This observational, cross-sectional study enrolled 45 patients (26 men, (55.2 ± 10.3) years, systolic blood pressure (155 ± 28) mmHg, diastolic blood pressure (93 ± 17) mmHg) for assessment of clinical and laboratorial data.

Main outcome measures

Primary outcomes comprised: pattern differentiation based on an automated method; PIA at the radial artery using the ‘simultaneous pressing’ method for identification of factors such as strength (strong/weak), depth (superficial/deep), and speed (fast/moderate/slow); and PWA at the same artery using a noninvasive system.


Significant multivariate main effects were observed for depth (λ=0.648, F5,29 =3.149, P=0.022, η2 =0.352), strength (λ=0.608, F5,29 =3.736, P=0.010, η2 =0.392), and speed (λ=0.535, F5,29 =5.302, P=0.002, η2 =0.465). General effects comprised high values of PWA and blood pressure for superficial, strong, and fast pulse images. A strong pulse was found for pulse pressure ≥ 62.5 mmHg and systolic blood pressure ≥ 149.5 mmHg, whereas a superficial pulse was found for heart rate ≥ 58.25 beats/min; a fast pulse was found for heart rate ≥ 69.6 beats/min and pulse wave velocity ≥ 9.185 m/s.


Associations were explained by LaPlace's law, arterial remodeling in hypertension, alongside the traditional criterion for classifying speed in pulse images. PIA is associated with PWA and hemodynamics in patients with hypertension. Systolic and pulse pressures, heart rate, and pulse wave velocity are quantitative variables that have information to describe the qualitative pulse images such as strength, depth and speed.

Key words: Medicine, Chinese traditional, Hypertension, Syndrome differentiation, Rehabilitation

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