Cardiovascular Changes Induced by Acute Emotional Stress Estimated from the Pulse Transit Time Difference

Pablo Armañac Julián1, Spyridon Kontaxis2, Jesus Lazaro3, Pablo Laguna4, Raquel Bailón5, Eduardo Gil6
1BSICoS, University of Zaragoza, 2Biomedical Research Networking Centre on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, 3University of Connecticut & University of Zaragoza, 4Zaragoza University, 5I3A, IIS, Universidad de Zaragoza, CIBER-BBN, 6University of Zaragoza


In the present work, the difference between arrival times of photoplethysmographic (PPG) pulses from two different sites of the arterial tree (PTTD) is calculated. As the PTTD is considered to be related with arterial pulse wave velocity, an evaluation of it’s usefulness to identify states of acute mental stress is performed.

A subset of fourteen healthy volunteers undergoing a stress protocol was analysed and a statistical test was carried out to evaluate the validity of the proposed method. The results showed that the standard deviation of the PTTD had sufficient statistical capacity to discern between states of stress and relaxation. Furthermore, a generalised descending trend of the mean PTTD can be seen from relaxation to stress.