Arch Dis Child 78:457-460 doi:10.1136/adc.78.5.457
  • Original article

Use of pulse oximetry for blood pressure measurement after cardiac surgery

  1. A J Movius,
  2. S L Bratton,
  3. G K Sorensen
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA
  1. Dr A J Movius, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.
  • Accepted 4 December 1997


Blood pressure measurement using pulse oximeter waveform change was compared with an oscillometric measurement and the gold standard, intra-arterial measurement, in children after cardiac surgery. Forty six patients were enrolled and divided into groups according to weight. Simultaneous blood pressure measurements were obtained from the arterial catheter, the oscillometric device, and the pulse oximeter. Pulse oximeter measurements were obtained with a blood pressure cuff proximal to the oximeter probe. The blood pressure measurements from the pulse oximeter method correlated better with intra-arterial measurements than those from the oscillometric device (0.77–0.96v 0.42–0.83). The absolute differences between the pulse oximeter and intra-arterial measurements were significantly smaller than between the oscillometric and intra-arterial measurements in children less than 15.0 kg. The pulse oximeter waveform change is an accurate and reliable way to measure blood pressure in children non-invasively, and is superior to the oscillometric method for small patients.