Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Michael Whitt


The purpose of this study was to define a lower standard cuff occlusion time to induce reactive hyperemia in assessing endothelial dysfunction. In this study, strong evidence was found by a novel technique that used oscillometric methods, which supported that 3 minute reactive hyperemia was sufficient to elicit a significant difference in arterial compliance from baseline. Twenty healthy Cal Poly students were assessed, (n=12 female, n=8 male) aged 22 years old with a standard deviation of 2.04 years. Arterial compliance was estimated by measuring the peak-to-peak oscillations for baseline, 3 minute reactive hyperemia, and 5 minute reactive hyperemia tests, with the result being statistical evidence of an increase in arterial compliance after 3 minutes of cuff occlusion compared to baseline. The peak-to-peak mean for the 3 minute reactive hyperemia test was significantly greater than the baseline peak-to-peak mean with p-values less than 0.0001. These results support that 3 minute reactive hyperemia is sufficient to assess endothelial dysfunction using oscillometry techniques. Endothelial dysfunction is the most significant predictor of a major adverse cardiovascular event, so this test can be used as an early detection tool for cardiovascular disease and allow patients to find treatment before irreversible damage is done to the body. Implementing this test into routine doctor checkups has the potential to have a significant effect on cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. The currently accepted clinical benchmark performed in hospitals uses high-frequency ultrasound with a standard cuff occlusion time of 5 minutes. Although noninvasive, 5 minutes of cuff occlusion causes slight discomfort to the patient and is not desirable. This test was improved and shortened by using a system based on the oscillometric method of blood pressure measurement. By reducing the duration of the test from 5 minute reactive hyperemia to 3 minute reactive hyperemia, this will make the procedure practical for an increased number of patients, providing a noninvasive option to regularly check for early symptoms of cardiovascular disease.