Non-invasive monitoring of cardiac contractility: Trans-radial electrical bioimpedance velocimetry (TREV)
We describe methods and software resources for a bioimpedance measurement technique, ‘trans-radial electrical bioimpedance velocimetry’ (TREV) that allows for the non-invasive monitoring of relative cardiac contractility and stroke volume. After reviewing the relationship between the measurement and cardiac contractility, we describe the general recording methodology, which requires impedance measurements of the forearm. We provide open-source Jupyter-based software (operable on most computers) for deriving cardiac contractility from the impedance measurements. The software includes tools for removing variance associated with heart rate and respiration. We demonstrate the ability of this bioimpedance measurement for tracking beat-to-beat changes of contractility in a maximal grip force production task. Critically, the results demonstrate both a reactive increase in contractility with force production, and suggest there is a learned increase in contractility prior to grip onset, consistent with anticipatory allostatic autonomic regulation mediated by sympathetic inotropy. The method and software should be of broad utility for investigations of event-related cardiac dynamics in psychophysical studies.