A theoretical model of oscillometric blood pressure measurement is presented. Particular emphasis is paid to the collapse behavior of the artery, and an exponential volume-pressure curve is used. The results of this study suggest that mean blood pressure can be accurately predicted from the peak of the oscillometric curve if corrections related to the cuff pressure waveform are applied. It is also shown, however, that systolic and diastolic pressure may not in general be accurately determined from fixed amplitude ratios based on the oscillometric peak due to the sensitivity of the method to variations in blood pressure waveform, pulse pressure, and arterial compliance. No simple procedures are found to correct for these effects.

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