OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 37, Iss. 31 — Nov. 1, 1998
  • pp: 7437–7446

Artifact reduction in photoplethysmography

Matthew J. Hayes and Peter R. Smith  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 37, Issue 31, pp. 7437-7446 (1998)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (163 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Motion artifact reduction in photoplethysmography, and therefore by implication in pulse oximetry, is achieved with a novel nonlinear methodology. The physical origins of the photoplethysmographic signals are explored in relation to a nonlinear measure of the observed intensity fluctuations. It is demonstrated that the nonlinearity renormalizes the received pulsations with optical information in a manner that aids physical interpretation. A heuristic physical model for the motion artifact is introduced and experimentally justified, with an inversion for artifact reduction being simplified by the nonlinearity. A practical implementation technique is discussed with emphasis placed on the resultant rescaling of the static and the dynamic portions of the signals. It is noted that this implementation also has the desirable effect of reducing any residual ambient artifact. The scope and power of this methodology is investigated with the presentation of results from a practical electronic system.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.6020) Fourier optics and signal processing : Continuous optical signal processing
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing

Original Manuscript: April 16, 1998
Revised Manuscript: August 3, 1998
Published: November 1, 1998

Matthew J. Hayes and Peter R. Smith, "Artifact reduction in photoplethysmography," Appl. Opt. 37, 7437-7446 (1998)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. B. Hertzman, “Photoelectric plethysmograph of the fingers and toes in man,” Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 37, 529 (1937). [CrossRef]
  2. I. Yoshiya, Y. Shimada, K. Tanaka, “Spectrophotometric monitoring of arterial oxygen saturation in the finger tip,” Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 18, 27–32 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. N. S. Trivedi, A. F. Ghouri, N. K. Shah, E. Lai, S. J. Barker, “Effects of motion, ambient light, and hypoperfusion on pulse oximeter function,” J. Clin. Anesth. 9, 179–183 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. A. T. Costarino, D. A. David, T. P. Keon, “Falsely normal readings with the pulse oximeter,” Anesthesiology 67, 830–831 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. F. E. Block, “Interference in a pulse oximeter from a fibre-optic light source,” J. Clin. Monit. 3, 210–211 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. L. H. Norton, B. Squires, N. P. Craig, G. McLeay, P. McGrath, K. I. Norton, “Accuracy of pulse oximetry during exercise stress testing,” Int. J. Sports Med. 13, 523–527 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. H. Benoit, F. Costes, L. Feasson, J. R. Lacour, F. Roche, C. Denis, A. Geyssant, J. C. Barthelemy, “Accuracy of pulse oximetry during intense exercise under severe hypoxic conditions,” Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. and Occup. Physiol. 76, 260–263 (1997). [CrossRef]
  8. M. J. Hayes, P. R. Smith, D. M. Barnett, M. D. L. Morgan, S. Singh, D. D. Vara, “Quantitative investigation of artefact in photoplethysmography and pulse oximetry for respiratory exercise testing,” in Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium CNVD (Computer-aided Noninvasive Vascular Diagnostics), V. Blažek, U. Schultz-Ehrenburg, eds. (VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1998, Vol. 263, pp. 117–124.
  9. C. F. Poets, V. A. Stebbens, “Detection of movement artifact in recorded pulse oximeter saturation,” Eur. J. Pediatrics 156, 808–811 (1997). [CrossRef]
  10. V. Blažek, U. Schultz-Ehrenburg, Quantitative Photoplethysmography. Basic Facts and Examination Tests for Evaluating Peripheral Vascular Functions (VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1996).
  11. U. Schmeink, Th. Schmeink, I. Lossau, V. Roschansky, “D-PPG and duplex-ultrasound: correlation of results in the diagnosis of deep vein insufficiency,” in Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium CNVD (Computer-aided Noninvasive Vascular Diagnostics), V. Blažek, U. Schultz-Ehrenburg, eds. (VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1998), Vol. 263, pp. 161–164.
  12. M. K. Diab, “Signal processing apparatus,” International Patent ApplicationWO 96/12435 (2May1996).
  13. G. R. Matthews, “Pulse responsive device,” International Patent ApplicationWO 91/18550 (12December1991).
  14. D. B. Swedlow, “Oximeter with motion detection for alarm modification,” International Patent ApplicationWO 94/22360 (13October1994).
  15. D. Parker, “Optical monitor (oximeter, etc.) with motion artifact suppression,” International Patent ApplicationWO 94/03102 (17February1994).
  16. T. J. Yorkey, “Method and apparatus for removing motion artifact and noise from pulse oximetry,” International Patent ApplicationWO 97/00041 (3January1997).
  17. C. Dumas, J. A. Wahr, K. K. Tremper, “Clinical evaluation of a prototype motion artifact resistant pulse oximeter in the recovery room,” Anesth. Analg. 83, 269–272 (1996). [PubMed]
  18. S. J. Barker, N. K. Shah, “The effects of motion on the performance of pulse oximeters in volunteers,” Anesthesiology 86, 101–108 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. A. R. Visram, R. D. M. Jones, M. G. Irwin, J. Bacon-Shone, “Use of two oximeters to investigate a method of movement artifact rejection using photoplethysmographic signals,” Br. J. Anaesth. 72, 388–392 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. J. L. Plummer, A. H. Ilsley, R. R. L. Fronsko, H. Owen, “Identification of movement artifact by the Nellcor N-200 and N-3000 pulse oximeters,” J. Clin. Monit. 13, 109–113 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. P. M. Morse, H. Feshbach, Methods of Theoretical Physics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1953).
  22. W. F. Cheong, S. A. Prahl, A. J. Welch, “A review of the optical properties of biological tissues,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 26, 2166–2185 (1990). [CrossRef]
  23. D. R. Marble, D. H. Burns, P. W. Cheung, “Diffusion-based model of pulse oximetry: in vitro and in vivo comparisons,” Appl. Opt. 33, 1279–1285 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. M. S. Patterson, B. Chance, B. C. Wilson, “Time resolved reflectance and transmittance for the non-invasive measurement of tissue optical properties,” Appl. Opt. 28, 2331–2336 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. K. I. Hopcraft, P. R. Smith, An Introduction to Electromagnetic Inverse Scattering (Kluwer, London, 1992). [CrossRef]
  26. C. C. Johnson, “Optical diffusion in blood,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 17, 129–133 (1970). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. Y. Shimada, I. Yoshiya, N. Oka, K. Mamaguri, “Effects of multiple scattering and peripheral circulation on arterial oxygen saturation, measured with a pulse-type oximeter,” Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 22, 475–478 (1984). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. P. D. Manheimer, J. R. Casciani, M. E. Fein, S. L. Nierlich, “Wavelength selection for low-saturation pulse oximetry,” IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 44, 148–158 (1997). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4 Fig. 5

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited