Title of Invention  "ARTERIAL PRESSUREBASED, AUTOMATIC DETERMINATION OF A CARDIOVASCULAR PARAMETER" 

Abstract  One or more Cardiovas cular parameters is estimated as a f'unction of the arterial pressure waveform (P(1), in particular, using at loost one statistical moment (i?(., i.,:and Hn)01' a discrete representation (P(k) pressure waveform having an order greater than one. Arterial pressure may be measared invasivcly or noninvasively. Arterial compliance (K), an exponential pressure decay conslanl (tan),vascular resistance (K), cardiac output (CO), and stroke volume (SV) are examples of cardiovascular parmanent that can be estimated using various aspects of (he invention. In a singlemoment embodiment of the, invention, cardiac: strroke volume (SV) of a subject is estimated as a function of a value derived from the pressure waveform. In a multimoment embodiment of the invention, two or more of the first four moments mean, standard deviation, skewness, and kwlosis of the pressure waveform are used to estimate the cardiovascular parameters(s) of interest, as well us heart rale, statistical moments (JT. K'T. Mir. (I'tr) )of a set pressureweighted time values ('!'( i)), and certain anlhropometrie palienl mesurments such as age, sex, body surface area, ele. 
Full Text  FIELD OF THE INVENTION [0001] This invention relates to hemodynamic monitoring and in particular to estimation of at least one cardiovascular parameter, such as arterial compliance or resistance, pressure decay, cardiac output (CO) or stroke volume (SV), etc., as well as to a system that implements the method. BACKGROUND ART [0002] Cardiac output (CO) is an important indicator not only for diagnosis of disease, but also for "realtime" monitoring of the condition of both human and animal subjects, including patients. Few hospitals are therefore without some form of conventional equipment to monitor cardiac output. Many suitable techniques  both invasive and noninvasive, as well as those that combine both  are in use and even more have been proposed in the literature, [0003] One invasive way to determine cardiac output (or, equivalently, SV) is to mount some flowmeasuring device on a catheter, and then to thread the catheter into the subject and to maneuver it so that the device is in or near the subject's heart. Some such devices inject either a bolus of material or energy (usually heat) at an upstream position, such as in the right atrium, and determine flow based on the characteristics of the injected material or energy at a downstream position, such as in the pulmonary artery. Patents that disclose implementations of such invasive techniques (in particular, thermodilution) include: U.S. Patent No. 4,236,527 (Newbower et a!., 2 December 1980); U.S. Patent No. 4,507,974 (Yeidsrman, 2 Apri! 1985); U.S. Patent No. 5,146,414 (McKown, et al.t 8 September 1992); and U.S. Patent No. 5,687,733 (McKown, et al., 18 November 1997). [0004] Still other invasive devices are based on the known Pick technique, according to which CO is calculated as a function of oxygenation of arterial and mixed venous blood, In most cases, oxygenation is sensed using rightheart catheterization, There have, however, also been proposals for systems that measure arterial and venous oxygenation noninvasively, in particular, using multiple wavelengths of light, but to date they have not been accurate enough to allow for satisfactory CO measurement on actual patients. [0005] Invasive techniques have obvious disadvantages, the main one of which is of course that catheterization of the heart is potentially dangerous, especially considering that the subjects (especially intensive care patients) on which it is performed are often already in the hospital because of some actually or potentially serious condition. Invasive methods also have Jess obvious disadvantages: Some techniques such 9s thermodiluiion rely on assumptions, such as uniform dispersion of the injected heat, that affect the accuracy of the measurements depending on how well they are fulfilled. Moreover, the very introduction of an instrument into the blood flow may affect the value (for example, flow rate) that the instrument measures. [0006] There has therefore been a longstanding need for some way of determining CO that is both noninvasive  or at least as minimally invasive as possible  and accurate. One blood characteristic that has proven particularly promising for accurately determining CO noninvasively is blood pressure. [0007] Most known bloodpressurebased systems rely on the socailed pulse contour method (PCM), which calculates as estimate of COfrom characteristics of the beattobeat pressure waveform. In the PCM, "Windkessel" (German for "air chamber") parameters (characteristic impedance of the aorta, compliance, and total peripheral resistance) are used to construct a linear or nonlinear, hemodynamic model of the aorta. In essence, blood flow is analogized to a flow of electrical current in a circuit in which an impedance is in series with a parallelconnected resistance and capacitance (compliance). The three required parameters of the mode! are usually determined either empirically, through a complex calibration process, or from compiled "anthropometric" data, that is, data about the age, sex, height, weight, etc., of other patients or test subjects, U.S. Patent No. 5,400,793 (Wesseling, 26 March 1995) and US, Patent No. 5,535,753 (Petmcelli, et ai., 16 July 1996) are representative of systems that rely on a Windkessel circuit model to determine CO. [0008] PCMbased systems can monitor CO more or (ess continuously, with no need for a catheter (usually right heart) to be left in the patient. Indeed, some PCM systems operate using blood pressure measurements taken using a finger cuff. One drawback of PCM, however, is that it is no more accurate than the rather simple, threeparameter model from which it is derived; in general, a model of a much higher order would be needed to faithfully account for other phenomena, such as the complex pattern of pressure wave reflections due to multiple impedance mismatches caused by, for example, arterial branching. Because the accuracy of the basic model is usually not good enough, many improvements have been proposed, with varying degrees of complexity, [0010] The "Method and apparatus for measuring cardiac output" disclosed by Salvatore Romano in U.S. Published Patent Application 20020022785 A1 (21 February 2002, "Method and apparatus for measuring cardiac output") represents a different attempt to improve upon PCM techniques by estimating SV, either invasiVely or noninvasively, as a function of the ratio between the area under the entire pressure curve and a linear combination of various components of impedance, fn attempting to account for pressure reflections, the Romano system relies not only on accurate estimates of inherently noisy derivatives of the pressure function, but also on a series of empirically determined, numerical adjustments to a mean pressure value. [0011] At the core of several methods for estimating CO is an expression of the form CO = HR*(K*SV6St) where HR is the heart rate, SVest is the estimated stroke volume, and K is a scaling factor related to arterial compliance. Romano and Petrucelli, for example, rely on this expression, as do the apparatuses disclosed in U.S. Patent 6,071,244 (Band, et a!., 6 June 2000); and U.S. Patent 6,348,038 (Band, et al.t 19 February 2002). [0012] Another expression often used to determines CO is CO  MAP*C / tau where MAP is mean arterial pressure, taa is an exponential pressure decay constant, and C, like K, is a scaling factor related to arterial compliance. U.S. Patent 6,485,431 (Campbell, 26 November 2002} discloses one apparatus that uses such an expression, £0013] The accuracy of these methods depends on how the compliance factors K and C are determined, In other words, an accurate estimate of compliance (or of some other value functionally related to compliance) is required. For example, Langwouters ("The Static Elastic Properties of 45 Human Thoracic and 20 Abdominal Aortas in vitro and the Parameters of a New Model," J, Biomechanics, Voi, 17, No. 6, pp. 425435,1984) measured vascular compliance per unit length in human aortas and related it to patient age and sex. An aortic length was then found to be proportional to patient weight and height. A nomogram, based on this patient information, was then derived and used in conjunction with information derived from an arterial pressure waveform to improve an estimate of the compliance factor. [0014] The different prior art apparatuses identified above each suffer from one or more drawbacks. The Band apparatus, for example, requires an external calibration using an independent measure of CO to determine a vascular impedancerelated factor that is then used in CO calculations. U.S. Patent 6,315,735 (Joeken, etal., 13 November 2001) describes another device with the same shortcoming, [0015J Wesseiing (U.S. Patent 5,400,793, 28 March 1995) and Campbell each attempt to determine a vascular compliancerelated factor from anthropometries data suqh as parent height, weight, sex, age, etc. These methods rely on relationships that are determined from human nominal measurements and do not apply robustly to a wide range of patients, [0016] Petruceili attempts to determine a vascular compliancerelated factor from not only anthropometric data, but also from a characteristic of the arterial pressure waveform. Using only age, height, weight, systolic pressure and diastolic pressure, Petrucelli's method has proven unreliable in a wide range of patients, 20 [0017] Romano attempts to determine a vascular impedancerelated factor solely from features of the arterial pressure waveform, and thus fails to take advantage of known relationships between patient characteristics and compliance. In other words, by freeing his system of a need for anthropornetric data, Romano also loses the information contained in such data. Moreover, Romano bases several intermediate calculations on values of the derivatives of the pressure waveform. As i$ well known, however, such estimates of derivatives are inherently noisy. Romano's method has, consequently, proved unreliable. [0018] What is needed is a system and method of operation for more accurately and robustly estimating cardiovascular parameters such as arterial compliance (K or C) or resistance, few, or other values such as SV and CO, or any other values that are computed from these parameters. This invention meets this need. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0019] A cardiovascular parameter of a subject is determined by sensing an input signal that either directly indicates or is proportional to arterial blood pressure. The sensor used to sense the input signal may be either invasive or noninvasive. [00201 In a singlemoment embodiment of the invention, the standard deviation of the input signal is then calculated over a measurement interval and an estimate of SV is then calculated as a function of the standard deviation of the input signal, SV may be computed as the product of the standard deviation and a calibration factor, Standard deviation may be calculated in different ways, having different degrees of statistical accuracy. For example, the input signal may be discretized over the measurement interval, and then a standard algorithm may be applied to determine an estimate of standard deviation from the sample values. ab an alternative, standard deviation may be approximated as a function of the difference between the maximum and minimum pressure values, as a function of either the maximum value of the first time derivative or the absolute value of the minimum of the first time derivative of the pressure waveform, or both, or a function of the magnitude of one or more spectral components of the pressure waveform at a frequency corresponding to the heart rate. [0021] Any cardiac value derived from SV may also be determined using the invention. For example, the method according to the invention may be used to calculate an estimate of cardiac output (CO), In such an application of the invention, any known mechanism (for example, a hardware monitor and/or software algorithm) is used to measure the patient's heart rate (HR). The current cardiac output of the patient Is then estimated using the standard formula CO  HR*(K*SVest), where SV is determined using the invention. [0022] In CO applications of the invention, the calibration constant may be determined using different technique s, both invasive and noninvasive. According to one method provided by the invention, to calculate the calibration constant, a calibration cardiac output value is measured and the calibration constant is computed as the quotient between a calibration cardiac output estimate and the product of the heart rate and the standard deviation. [0023] According to a multimoment embodiment of the invention, of which the singlemoment embodiment may be considered to be a special case, given an invasively or noninvasivefy measured arterial pressure waveform of a subject, the invention operates on one or more of three sets of input data: 1) one or more statistical moments (mean, standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis, etc,) of the digitized arterial pressure waveform; 2) one or more statistical moments of a set of pressureweighted time values, each pressureweighted time value corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; and 3) a set of anthropometric values (heart rate, body surface area, age, sex, height, weight, etc,} to estimate one or more of a set of cardiovascular parameters including a value of arterial compliance, stroke volume, cardiac output, vascular resistance, a pressure decay constant, or any other cardiovascular parameter that can be derived from any of these, [0024] If needed, for example, to remove the effect of potential drift in mean pressure over the measurement interval(s), the input signal may be highpass filtered before the statistical moment(s) used in the computations are/is calculated, [0025] The measurement interval may extend over more than one cardiac cycle, for example, to cover a time window that is multiple cardiac cycles wide. A single standard deviation vaiue of the input signal may be calculated over the whole interval, or component standard deviation values may be calculated and ther: averaged (using the mean, median, etc.) for each of a plurality of subintervals to form a final composite standard deviation value that can be used in calculating the estimate of the cardiac stroke volume. Various optimizations may be included in different embodiments of the invention. For example, for each of a plurality of cardiac cycles, a mean pressure value can be calculated and the measurement interval can then be adjusted as a function of change in the mean pressure value, [0026] in an exemplifying processing system that implements the method, one or more computerexecutable software modules are included for carrying out the various calculations. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0027] Figure 1 is an illustrative example of a complex blood pressure curve over one beattobeat heart cycle. [0028] Figure 2 illustrates a discretetime representation of the pressure waveform in Figure 1. [0029] Figure 3 is a block diagram showing the main components of a system according to the invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION INTRODUCTION (0030] In broadest terms, the invention involves the determination of a cardiovascular parameter such as stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), the compliance factor (such as K or C in the formulas given above), etc., as a single or multiparameter function of at least one statistical higherorder (order two or greater) moment of an invasivety or noninvasively measured blood pressure waveform. For the determination of some cardiovascular parameters, patientspecific data is preferably also incorporated in the multiparameter function as well, [0031] The invention may be used to advantage with any type of subject, whether human or animal Because it is anticipated that the most common use of the invention will be on humans in a diagnostic setting, the invention is described below primarily in use with a "patient." This is by way of example only, however  it is intended that the term "patient" should encompass all subjects, both human and animal, regardless of setting. PRESSURE WAVEFORMS [0032] Figure 1 illustrates an example of the waveform P(t) of arterial pressure taken over a single heart cycle, here, from the point of diastoiic pressure Pdia at time toiao, through the time tsysof systolic pressure Psys, to a time U8i at which the blood pressure once again reaches Puia[0033] According to the invention, P(t), or any signal that is proportional to P(t), may be measured at any point in the arterial tree, either invasively or noninvasively. If invasive instruments are used, in particular, cathetermounted pressure transducers, then any artery may be used as a measurement point. Placement of noninvasive transducers will typically be dictated by the instruments themselves the placement of finger cuffs, upper arm pressure cuffs, and earlobe clamps should be obvious. Regardless of the instrument, it wi!! ultimately produce, or cause to be produced, an electric signal corresponding (for example, proportional) to P(t). (0034] As is well known, and as is illustrated in Figure 2, analog signals such as P(t) can be digitized into a sequence of digital values using any standard analogtodigital converter (ADC), in other words, P(t), to SINGLEMOMENT EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION [0035] The singlemoment embodiment of the invention provides for estimation of stroke volume (SV), and thus of any cardiovascular parameter derivable from SV, using the standard deviation of P(k), that is, ap, or some value that is related to the standard deviation (see below), One way to calculate Of course, to get op the system simply takes the square root of [0038] Although probably less accurate than calculation of ctp using the standard formulas presented earlier, this "rough" c?p approximation has the advantage of simplicity, requiring n:, sampling of P(t) at all. Indeed, given an input signal indicating heart rate (HR), a system to compute {rnax[P(k}]  minlP(k)]} /3 and, from it, SV and/or CO (or some other function of SV) could be implemented completely in hardware, even allanalog circuitry, using known circuit design techniques. This would allow development of very inexpensive, easily manufactured and physically robust CO monitors for use in areas or applications that have only minimal facilities and resources. [0039] Of course, it is not necessary to have a separate calculation relating max(P(k)] and min[P(k)] to [0041] it would also be possible to use the average or these first derivatives instead of using only the one or the other. Given P(k), the derivatives may be determined using any known numerical method; note that the points of interest on the pressure waveform are the points of inflection, that is, the points at which the second time derivative of P(t) is zero. The time interval over which these derivatives is evaluated may be the entire cardiac cycle. It will generally suffice, however, to evaluate P(t) between the beginning of the cardiac and the first dicrotic point, shown as Piratic in Figure 1, since the maximum positive slope will usually occur about halfway between the diastolic and systolic points, that is, Pd,3 and Psys and the greatest negative slope will generally occur about halfway between the systolic and first dicrotic points, that is, Pays and Pdicrotiu. Examining only these portions of P(t) will eliminate the possibility that spurious values will be used from after the time of P [0044] Before finally arriving at a value for CO, it is also necessary to determine a value for the calibration constant K. One way to do this is as any predetermined function of P(t); thus, K = K(P{t)), [0045] Any known, independent CO technique may be used to determine this relationship, whether invasive, for example, thermodilution, or noninvasive, for example, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) or bioimpedance measurement. The invention provides continuous trending of CO between intermittent measurements such as TD or TEE, Using the chosen independent method, a value COcsi is determined, so that K will be: K = COcai/(VHR) where V is the chosen value proportional to SV, for example: VGp ; or V= max[P(k)]  min[P(k)]; or V maximum or absolute value of the minimum of the first derivative of the P(t): orV*H1/PavsorH2/PflVg [0046] One advantage of all embodiments of the invention is that even if an invasive technique such as catheterization is used todetermine K; it will usually not be necessary to leave the catheter in the patient during the subsequent COmonitoring session, Moreover, even when using catheterbased calibration technique to determine K, it is not necessary according to the invention for the measurement to be taken in or near the heart; rather, the calibration measurement could be made in the femoral artery. As such, even where an invasive technique is used to determine the calibration constant K, the invention as a whole is still minimally invasive in that any catheterization may be peripheral and temporary. [0047] As is mentioned above, rather than measure arterial blood pressure directly, any other input signal may be used that is proportional to blood pressure. This means that calibration may be done at any or ail of several points in the calculations. For example, if some signal other than arterial blood pressure itself is used as input, then it may be calibrated to blood pressure before its values are used to calculate standard deviation, or afterwards, in which case either the resulting standard deviation value can be scaled, or the resulting SV value can be calibrated (for example, by setting K properly), or some final function of SV (such as CO) can be scaled. In short, the fact that the invention may in some cases use a different input signal than a direct measurement of arterial blood pressure does not limit its ability to generate an accurate SV estimate. MOMENTS [0048] Now consider an ordered collection of m values, that is, a sequence Y(i), where i=0 (m1). As is well known from the field of statistics, the first four moments m, jij, us, and ^ of Y(i) can be calculated using know formulas, where ^1 is the mean (that is, arithmetic average), µ2 = o2 is the variation, that is, the square of the standard deviation o; µ3 is the skewness , and µ4 is the kurtosis. Thus: (Formula Removed) Note that, in general, the {βth moment µβ can be expressed as: where i0 (m1). Note also that the discretevalue formulas for the second through fourth moments usually scale by 1/(m1) instead of 1/m for wellknown statistical reasons. [0049] As is explained further below, the multimoment embodiment of the invention computes a compliance factor as a function not only of the four moments of the pressure waveform P(k), but also of a pressureweighted time vector, Although the statistical concepts expressed in Formulas 14 above are well understood, as far as the inventor is aware, only the first moment ui of the pressure waveform, which corresponds to mean arterial pressure MAP, is used directly in the prior art in calculations relating to arterial compliance. Use of only MAP is a severe and wasteful limitation in that MAP reduces al! the accumulated information of the pressure waveform P(k) into a single number, which provides no information at all about the shape of the waveform other than its average amplitude. [0050} Standard deviation o provides one level of shape information in that the greater a is, the more "spread out" the function (that, is, sequence) Y(i) is, that is, the more it tends to deviate from the mean, Of course, to get the standard deviation a the system simply takes the square root of the variation c2. Formula 2 is the standard formula for computing or estimating a, but other techniques are discussed above in connection with the singlemoment embodiment of the invention. These may also be .used to determine in this multimoment embodiment of the invention. [0051J Although standard deviation provides some shape information, its shortcoming can be easily understood by considering the following: the mean and standard deviation will not change if the order in which the values making up the sequence Y(i) is "reversed," that is, Y(i) is reflected about the i=0 axis and shifted so that the value Y(m1) becomes the first value in time, [0052] Skewness is a measure of Sack of symmetry and indicates whether the left or right side of the function Y{i), relative to the statistical mode, is heavier than the other, A positively skewed function rises rapidly, reaches its peak, then falls slowiy. The opposite would be true for a negatively skewed function. The point is that the skewness value includes shape information not found in the mean or standard deviation values  in particular, it indicates how rapidly the function initially rises to its peak and then how slowly it decays. Two different functions may have the same mean and standard deviation, but they will then only rarely have the same skewness. [0053] Kurtosis is a measure of whether the function Y{i) is more peaked or flatter than a normai distribution. Thus, a high kurtosis value will indicate a distinct peak near the mean, with a drop thereafter, followed by a heavy "tail." A low kurtosis value will tend to indicate that the function is relatively flat in the region of its peak. A normal distribution has a kurtosis of 3.0; actual kurtosis values are therefore often adjusted by 3.0 so that the values are instead relative to the origin, PRESSURE WAVEFORM MOMENTS [0054] According to another embodiment of the invention, the first four moments u.ip, i^p, 113?, and ^p of the pressure waveform P(k) are calculated and used in the computation of the compliance factor, where (.iip is the mean, standard deviation crp; where all of these moments are Formulas 14 above may be us substituting P for Y, k for i, and [0055] Formula 2 above pro\ computing a standard deviation may also be used. For example pressurebased measurements rough approximation to ctp can t between the maximum and that the maximum or absolute v derivative of the P(t) with respee, that is, the square of the and µ4P is the kurtosis, based on the pressure waveform P(k). d to calculate these values after form. des the "textbook" method for Other, more approximate methods at least in the context of blood the inventor has discovered that a e had by dividing by three the difference measured pressure values, and lue of the minimum of the first to time is generally proportional to cyp. PRESSUREWEIGHTED TlMEvlQMENTS [0056] As Figure 2 illustrate: corresponding measured press can be formed into a sequence meaning that each P(k) value is k value. By way of a greatly stnjplified pressure waveform consists of P{2)=50, P(3)=55, and P(4)=35 sequence T(j) with 25 ones, 50 TQ)M,1,..,1,2,2 This sequence would thus hav^ 25+50+55+35 [0057] Moments may be coifputed other. For example, the mean H1T* (1*25+2*50+3*5! and the standard deviation SQRT[1/164*25(1~2.€ 2.61)2] = 0,985 [0058] The skewness jj.st and kurtosis jj^t can be computed by similar substitutions in Formulas 3 and 4, respectively; [0059] As these formulas indicate, this process in effect "weights" each discrete time value k by its corresponding pressure value P(k) before calculating the moments of time. The sequence T(j) has the very useful property that it robu$tly characterizes the timing distribution of the pressure waveform: Reversing the order of the pressure values P(k) will in almost all cases cause even the mean of T(j) to change, as wed as all of the higherorder moments. Moreover, the secondary "hump" that normally occurs at the dicrotic pressure Piratic also noticeably affects the value of kurtosis jmt; in contrast, simply identifying the dicrotic notch in the prior art, such as in the Romano method, requires noisy calculation of at least one derivative. MULTIMOMENT EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION [0060] In a preferred version of a multimoment embodiment of the invention, al! four of the pressure waveform and pressureweighted time moments are used to compute a compliance factor K that can be used either on its own or in other formulas, such as those given above for calculating cardiac output. Additional values are preferably also included in the computation to take other known characteristics into account. In one prototype of the invention, for example, the heart rate HR (or period of Rwaves), the body surface area BSA, as well as a compliance value Kpfior calculated using a Know method such as described by Langwouters, which computes compliance as a polynomial function of the pressure waveform and the patient's age and sex. Thus, in this preferred embodiment K := K(HR, Kpnor, BSA, hip, ctp, fiap.^p, hit, ot, mst, ^4t) [0061] Depending on the needs of a given implementation of the invention and using known experimental methods, one might also choose not to include some of the parameters, for example, skewness or kurtosis., or one might also include even higher order moments. Tests using both sets of all of the first four statistical moments have proven successful in contributing to an accurate and robust estimate of compliance. Moreover, other anthropometric parameters than HR and BSA may be used in addition, or instead, and other methods may be used to determine Kpri0r, which may even be omitted altogether. The example methodology described below for computing a current compliance value may be adjusted in a known manner to reflect the increased, decreased, or altered parameter set, APPROXIMATING FUNCTION  COEFFICIENT DETERMINATION [0062] Once the parameter set for computing K has been assembled, it must still be related to something that is known. Recall the two standard expressions for calculating CO given above: CO = HR*K*SV«t CO = MAP*C / tau [0063] Existing devices and methods, including invasive techniques such as thermodilution, may be used to determine CO, HR and SVesl for a population of test or reference subjects, (MAP and tau can similarly be determined using known techniques.) For each subject, anthropometric data such as age, weight, BSA, height, etc can also be recorded. This creates a suite of CO measurements, each of which is a function (initially unknown) of the component parameters of K, An approximating function can therefore be computed, using known numerical methods, that best relates the parameters to K (or C) given the suite of CO measurements in some predefined sense. One well understood and easily computed approximating function is a polynomial. In one successfully tested implementation of the invention, a standard multivariate fitting routine was used to generate the coefficients of a polynomial that gave a value of K for each set of parameters HR, KPnor, BSA,fJp, Op, (J3p, fJLjP M1T, 0T, WT, P4T. [0064] In one implementation of the invention, K was computed as follows: where [0065] The coefficients "A" and the exponent matrix "P" were determined to be as follows by multivariate leastsquares regression using data collected from human subjects: = [0.085831 4.7797 0.74519 1.1204 0.00010546 1.525 0.010744](Table Removed) [0066] The expression for K can be written in the following form: B(female) «= [4,12 73 0.89] Bi(sex) is element: of the respective array for the indicated sex. [0067] Note that, in this implementation, the inventor chose to restrain the regression to at most four parar stars per regression variable, with each parameter having an order (here: exponent) no greater than two. Thus, each row of the matrix P has at most four nonzero terms, with the absolute value of the each element of P being at most two. This was done for the sake of numerical stability and accuracy, even though it also meant that v&and vio were not included in the optimization. The expression for K therefore became a secondorder curve in ninedimensional parameter space. Other designers may choose a different number of parameters, however, or order, depending on which routine they choose to compute an estimate of K. These design choices are well understood by those who develop methods of estimating cardiovascular parameters. The point is that all computed moments may be used, but all are not necessarily required by the invention. [0068] Furthermore, it may be possible ;o generate the approximating function for K (or some other cardiovascular parameter) even without any moments of the pressure alone, that & without ) based solely on one or more moments of the pressureweighted time values ,uit, «t. 1137, ^j, with or without anthropometsic (or anihropometricaliy derived) values such as HR, KpriDr, BSA. Normal experimentation may be applied to determine which moments and parameters will yield satisfactory results ir, any given application of the invention. [0069} By entering actual measured or computed values of vi ... vn into the approximating function, one obtains an estimate of the compliance factor K, if the compliance factor is the value of interest, then it may be presented to the user in any desired, conventional manner. In most implementations, however, the compliance factor is itself an intermediate parameter intended for use in the determination of some other characteristic cardiac value such as SV or CO. [0070] The inventor has also observed that the compliance factor C and the compliance factor K are related by a gain factor of approximately six, such that K « 6*C, any expression for computing K can therefore easily be modified to estimate C. [0071] The methodology described above may be applied even where the cardiovascular parameter of interest is something other than arterial compliance, Thus, the invention may be applied to estimate any cardiovascular parameter if a set of clinically measured variables is related to it; the relationship is characterized by using a known numerical method to determine an approximation function (having at least one higherorder moment of the pressure waveform as a variable) for the relationship; and the actual values measured or computed are substituted for the variables of the approximating function to get a current value of the cardiovascular parameter of interest. SV and CO ESTIMATION [0072] As mentioned above, the principle formula for calculating cardiac output (CO) is CO  SVHR, where SV is stroke volume and HR is heart rate. Given HR, the problem then remains how to determine SV, Based on the observation that the pulsatility of a pressure waveform is created by the cardiac stroke volume into the arterial tree, the inventor has discovered that SV can be approximated as being proportional to the standard deviation of the arterial pressure waveform P(t), or of some other signal that itself is proportional to P(t). Thus, one way to estimate SV is to apply the relationship SV  Kerp from which follows that CO  KcypHR. [Q073J The inventor has also observed that the standard .deviation ap of the blood pressure measured in the femoral artery of patients just leaving surgery remains relatively constant even though their CO is increasing, whereas [0074] Setting / = 3.0 gave good results. Here, the value three is subtracted from mp for centering on the origin. All of the formulas given here that involve kurtosis, however, may use ^up "as is" or be centered, as long as the formulas are modified according to the choice. [0075] Since the invention calculates cp and K, it therefore can also yield an estimate of SV every time K is estimated. By using any known device for measuring HR, the invention also provides an estimate of CO, Since the estimate of K will in general be more accurate using the invention, because it employs both patientspecific information and robust pressure waveform measurements, the estimates for SV and CO will be correspondingly improved. [0076] In order to calculate CO, the heart rate HR (or some signal from which HR can be derived) is needed. Any of the many known instruments for measuring HR may be used. If the beginning and end times for each P(t) interval are triggered by an electrocardiogram signal, for example, then the same signal may be used to calculate HR. The measured pressure wave P(t) (in practice, P(k)) may itself be used to derive HR, for example, using standard Fast Fourier transformation or derivative analysis ESTIMATION OF tau AND VASCULAR RESISTANCE [0077] Now recall the standard formulas CO * HR*(K*SVc8t) and CO b MAP*C / tau = hip * C / tsu £0078] where HR is the heart rate, SVest is the estimated stroke volume, MAP is mean arterial pressure (j^p), and tau is the exponential pressure decay parameter that describes how P(t) decays after its peak. [0079] Combined with the inventor's observations KK*6*Cand CO  KapHR these expressions can be combined and simplified to yield an estimate of tau itself: tau * MAP / (6*HR*cyp) [0080] Depending on the implementation, a unittranslation constant k may be needed to provide unit consistency, so that tau ~ k * MAP I (6*HR* [0082] The analog measurement interval, that is, the time window [to, tf], and thus the discrete sampling interval k=0, .,., (n1), over which each calculation period is conducted should be small enough so that it does not encompass substantial shifts in the pressure and/or time moments. Also, one could filter out low frequency variations such as respiration using a high pass filter, which would also help remove the effect of any drift in mean arterial pressure during the time window. For the sake of providing more stable and reliable readings, however, is it best to let the time window extend longer than one cardiac cycle. Preferably, the measurement interval (time window) should be a plurality of cardiac cycles, that is, beginning and ending at the same point in different cardiac cycles; this ensures that the mean pressure value used in the calculations of the various higherorcter moments will use a mean pressure value Pavg that is not biased because of incomplete measurement of a cycle. [0083] Larger sampling windows have the advantage that the effect of perturbations such as those caused by reflections will usually be reduced, since they will be tend to "cancel out" in the calculations of means and standard deviations. An appropriate time window can be determined using normal experimental and clinical methods. Note that it would be possible for the time window to coincide with a single heart cycle, in which case mean pressure shifts will not be of concern. [0084] As a check, the system according to the invention could also, as a separate background operation, compute at least the means, and possibly also the higherorder moments, over each cardiac cycle. If the mean cycletocycle pressure shows any absolute or proportional drift greater than some threshold value, a warning signal could be generated such that the currently computed compliance, SV, CO or other estimate may be considered less reliable or discarded altogether. [0085] It would be also possible to adjust the time window [to, tf] according to drift in Pavg. For example, if P8vg over a given time window differs absolutely or proportionately by more than a threshold amount from the Pavg of the previous time window, then the time window could be reduced; stability of Pavg could then be used to indicate that the time window can be expanded. The time window could also be expanded and contracted based on noise sources, or on a measure of SNR or variation. Limits are preferably placed on how much the time window is allowed to expand or contract and if such expansion or contraction is allowed at all, then an indication of the time interval is preferably displayed to the user. [0086] It is not necessary for the time window to start at any particular point in the cardiac cycle. Thus, t0 need not be the same as tdiao, although this may be a convenient choice in many implementations. This means that the beginning and end of each measurement interval (that is, tO and tf) may be triggered on almost any characteristic of the cardiac cycle, such as at times t^ao or tsy£l or on nonpressure characteristics such as R waves, etc. In choosing such alternate intervals, however, one should keep in mind that skewness and kurtosis are shapedependent. OTHER INPUTS [0087] Rather than measure blood pressure directly, any other input signal may be used that is proportional to blood pressure. This means that calibration may be done at any or all of several points in the calculations. For example, if some signal other than arterial blood pressure itself is used as input, then it may be calibrated to blood pressure before its values are used to calculate the various component moments, or afterwards, in which case either the resulting moment values can be scaled. In short, the fact that the invention may in some cases use a different input signal than a direct measurement of arterial blood pressure does not necessarily preclude its ability to generate an accurate compliance estimate, SYSTEM COMPONENTS [0088J Figure 3 shows the main components of a system that implements the method described above for sensing pressure and calculating a parameter such as compliance, SV, CO, etc. The invention may be included within an existing patientmonitoring device, or it may be implemented as a dedicated monitor. As is mentioned above, pressure, or some other input signal proportional to pressure, may be sensed in either or, indeed, both, of two ways: invasively and noninvasive!y. Simply because it is anticipated to be the most common implementation of the invention, the system is described as measuring arterial blood pressure as opposed to some other input signal that is converted to pressure. [0089] Figure 3 shows both types of pressure sensing for the sake of conciseness; in most practical applications of the invention, either one or several variations will typically be implemented. In invasive applications of the invention, a conventional pressure sensor 100 is mounted on a catheter 110, which is inserted in an artery 120 of a portion 130 of the body of a human or animal patient. Such artery could be an ascending aorta, or pulmonary artery, or, in order to reduce the level of invasiveness, the artery 120 could be peripheral, such as the femoral, radial or brachia! artery. In the noninvasive applications of the invention, a conventional pressure sensor 200, such as a photoplethysmographic blood pressure probe, is mounted externally in any conventional manner, for example using a cuff around a finger 230 or a transducer mounted on the wrist of the patient. Figure 3 schematically shows both types. [0090] The signals from the sensors 100, ZOO are passed via any known connectors as inputs to a processing system 300, which includes one or more processors and other supporting hardware and system software (not shown) usually included to process signals and execute code. The invention may be implemented using a modified, standard, persona! computer, or it may be incorporated into a larger, specialized monitoring system. In this invention, the processing system 300 also may include, or is connected to, conditioning circuitry 302 which performs such normaf signal processing tasks as amplification, filtering, ranging, etc., as needed, as well as the optional high pass filtering mentioned above. The conditioned, sensed input pressure signal P(t) is then converted to digital form by a conventional analogtodigitai converter ADC 304, which has or takes its ',' le reference from a clock circuit 305. As is we!! understood, the sampling frequency of the ADC 304 should be chosen with regard to the Nyquist criterion so as to avoid aliasing of the pressure signal; this procedure is very well known in the art of digital signal processing. The output from the ADC 304 will be the discrete pressure signal P(k), whose values may be stored in conventional memory circuitry (not shown). [0091] The values P(k) are passed to (usually, accessed from memory by} to a software module 310 comprising computerexecutable code for computing whichever of the parameters ^ip, hit, ctp, ct, pap, msi, mp, jjat are to be used in the chosen algorithm for calculating the compliance factor K, Even moderately skilled programmers will know how to design this software module 310. [0092] The patientspecific data such as age, height, weight, BSA, etc., is stored in a memory region 315, whirh may also store other predetermined parameters such as Kpr!or. These values may be entered using any known input device 400 in the conventional manner. [0093] A compliance calculation module 320, also comprising computerexecutable code, then takes as inputs the various moment and patientspecific values and performs the chosen calculations for computing the compliance factor. For example, the module 320 could enter the parameters into the expression given above for K, or into some other expression derived by creating an approximating function that best fits a set of test data. The caiculation module 320 preferably also selects the time window [tQ, tf] over which each compliance, SV and/or CO estimate is generated. This may be done as simply as choosing which and how many of the stored, consecutive, discretized P(t) values P(k) are used in each calculation, which is the same as selecting n in the range k = 0,.... (n1). [0084] Taking K, a user. As with the input device 400, the display 500 will typically be the same as is used by the processing system for other purposes. [0098 ) The invention further relates to a computer program loadable in a computer unit or the processing system 300 in order to execute the method of the invention. Moreover, the various software modules 310, 315, 320, 330, 340, 350, 360, and 370 used to perform the various calculations and perform related method steps according to the invention may also be stored as computerexecutable instructions on a computerreadable medium in order to allow the invention to be foaded into and executed by different processing systems, OTHER OUTPUTS [0099] The invention is described above in the context of calculating estimates of SV and CO. This is the use of invention that the inventor assumes will be most common, but the invention is not inherently limited to such use. In essence, the invention provides a novel way to calculate a compliance factor K (or C) and therefore any parameter that is a function of (for example, proportional to) K, not just CO. Consequently, the advantages of the invention will also apply to the calculation of any other cardiovascular value derived from K, such as tau. R, etc. CLAIMS 1 . A method for determining a cardiovascular parameter of a subject CHARACTERIZED by: sensing an Input signal (P(k)) thst indicates arterial blood presstre; determining at least one statistics! mi ment(2pµµ,µ3p and µ4p) of the input signal having an order of two or higher; and estimating the cardiovascular parameter as a function of the statist oa! moment(s). 2. A method as in claim 1 , CHARACTERIZED in that the cardie vascular parameter is one or more cr lie following: arterial compliance (K, C) vascular resistance (R), oaroiac output (CO), stroke volume (SV) and a pressure decay constant (tan). 3 A method as in claims 1 or 2, CHARACTERIZED in that Ihe a l: teast one statistical moment of fhs Input signal is one or more of the following: standard deviation (0?), skevvness (jj^p), and kurtosis 4, A method aa ifi any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED by: measuring a predetermined set of anthropometric parameters of the subject: and estimating the cardiovascular parameter as a function also of the measured anthropometric parameters. 5, A method as )n as in any preceding ciairn, CHARACTERIZED in that the input signs! is a sequence of measured artela! pressure values (p(k)) that are measured over a measurement 6. A method as in claim 5, further CHARACTERIZED by: for each of a plurality of cardiac cycles, calculating a mean pressure value (MAP, µpi); and adjusting the measurement interval as a function of change in the mean pressure value (MAP, µ.pi). A method as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED by highpass filtering the input signal before the step of calculating the statistical moment(s). A method as in any preceding claim, CHARACTERIZED by sensing the input signal noninvasively, A method as in any of claims 17, CHARACTERIZED by sensing the input signal using a blood pressure sensor (100) mounted on a catheter (110). 10 A method as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED by: computing both the standard deviation (op) and at least one statistical moment, having an order greater than two, of the input signal (P(k)); estimating an arterial compliance value (K) as a function of at least the statistical moment of the input signal having an order greater than two; and computing an estimate of stroke volume (SV) as a function of the product of the standard deviation (op) and the arterial compliance value (K). 11 A method as in claim 10, further CHARACTERIZED by; computing the kurtosis (imp) of the input signal; computing an estimate of stroke volume (SV) as a function not only of the product of the standard deviation (a?) and the arterial compliance value (K), but also of an correction factor that is proportional to the kurtosis, 12. A method as in claim 1, further CHARACTERIZED by: measuring the subject's heart rate (HR); computing both the mean (ipi) and the standard deviation (o>) of the input signal; computing, as the cardiovascular pamrneter, a pressure decay constant (tau) as a function that is proportional to the mean and inversely proportion to both the standard deviation (op) and the heart rate (HR), 13. A method as in claim 12, further CHARACTERIZED by: computing an arterial compliance value (K); and computing, as the cardiovascular parameter, a vascular resistance value (R) as a function that is proportional to the pressure decay constant and inversely proportion to the arterial compliance value, 14. A method as in claim 1, in which the cardiovascular parameter is arterial compliance, further CHARACTERIZED by: determining an approximating function relating a set of clinically determined reference measurements to arterial compliance (K), in which the approximating function is a function of at least three different statistical moments of the input signal, as well as of a set of anthropometric values; computing the three different statistical moments of the input signal, as well as measuring the set of anthropometric values of the subject; estimating the arterial compliance (K/ of the subject by evaluating the approximating function with the computed three different statistical moments of the input signal, as well as the measured set of anthropometric values of the subject, 15. A method as in claim 14, further CHARACTERIZED by: sansing the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle; and computing a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; computing statistical moments (^1T! nar, mst. nt) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)); in which the approximating function is a function also of the statistical moment(s) (u.pi, nap. v&>, and fMpl the set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), • 6. A method as in claim 14, further CHARACTERIZED by computing at least two statistical moments not only of the input signal (P(k)}, but also of the set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)); in which the approximating function is a function of the computed statistical moments of both the input signal (mp, u.ap, u^p, hap) and of the set of pressureweighted time values (pm, m.et, 17. A method as in claim 14, further CHARACTERIZED by: measuring the subject's heart rate (HR); estimating stroke volume (SV) as a function of the product of the estimated arterial compliance (K) and the standard deviation (op) the input signal (P(k)); and computing cardiac output value (CO) as a function of the product of the estimated stroke volume and the measured heart rate (HR), 18. A method as in any of claims 19, further CHARACTERIZED by sensing the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle, and in which the step of estimating the cardiovascular parameter comprises computing a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; and computing at least one statistical moment (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T)of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)). 19. A method as in claim 14 or 18, in which the cardiovascular parameter is arterial compliance, further CHARACTERIZED by: computing the statistical moment(s) (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (TO)), as well as measuring the set of anthropometric values of the subject; determining an approximating function relating a set of clinically determined reference measurements to arterial compliance, in which the approximating function is a function of the statistical moment(s) {µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)) and of the set of anthropometric values; estimating the arterial compliance (K) of the subject by evaluating the approximating function with the computed statistical moment(s) (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)), as well as with the measured set of enthropometric values of the subject. 20. A method as in any of claims 1 9, further CHARACTERIZED by: sensing the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle, and in which the step of estimating the cardiovascular parameter comprises computing at least one statistical moment (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of a sequence of measured arterial pressure values (P(k)); computing a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; and computing at least one statistical moment (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of the set of pressureweighted time values {T{j}); estimating the cardiovascular parameter as function of both the statistical moment(s)( µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T)of the sequence of measured arterial pressure values and the statistical moment(s) (µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, µ4T) of the set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)). 21, A method as in any of claims 19, CHARACTERIZED in that the cardiovascular parameter is cardiac stroke volume; calculating the standard deviation (oP) of the input signal over the measurement interval; and calculating an estimate of the cardiac stroke volume (SV) as a function of only one higher order statistical moment of the input signal, namely, the standard deviation (op). 22. A method as in claim 21, further CHARACTERIZED by: measuring the heart rate (HR) of the subject; and estimating current cardiac output of the subject by calculating the product of the heart rate (HR) and the standard deviation and scaling the product by a calibration constant. 23. A method as in claim 22, further CHARACTERIZED by: measuring a calibration cardiac output value; and calculating the calibration constant as the quotient between a calibration cardiac output estimate and the product of the heart rate (HR) and the standard deviation (op). 24. A method as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED by: including standard deviation (oP) as the statistical moment, or as one of the statistical moments; calculating a component standard deviation value of the input signal for each of a plurality of measurement intervals; computing a composite standard deviation value (oP) as an average of the component standard deviation values; and using the composite standard deviation value (oP) in calculating the estimate of the cardiac stroke volume. 25. A method as in any of claims 123, further CHARACTERIZED by: including {standard deviation (oP) as the statistical moment, or as one of the statistical moments; determining a maximum value and a minimum value of the arterial blood pressure; and estimating the standard deviation (oP) as a function of the difference between the maximum and minimum values. 26. A method as in claim 1, in which the cardiovascular parameter is cardiac stroke volume (SV) further CHARACTERIZED by: calculating the standard deviation (oP) and kurtosis (u4P) of the input signal; determining an arterial compliance value (K) of the subject; computing an estimate of stroke volume (SV) as a function of the product of the standard deviation (oP) and the arterial compliance value, as well as of an correction factor that is proportional to the kurtosis. A method as in claim 26, further CHARACTERIZED in that the correction factor is γ(µ43), where γ is a predetermined constant and µ4 is the kurlosis, A system for determining a cardiovascular parameter of a subject comprising: a monitoring system that senses an input signal (P(k)) that indicates arterial blood pressure (P(t)), the monitoring system including a processing system (300) that in turn includes: a momentcalculating module (310) that determines at least one statistical moment (µ2p, µ3p, µ 4p) of the input signal having an Order of two or higher; and an estimation module (317) that estimates the cardiovascular parameter as a function of fre statistical moment(s). A system as in claim 28, further CHARACTERIZED in that the cardiovascular parameter is one or more of the following: arterial compliance (K, C), vascular resistance (R), cardiac output (CO), stroke volume (SV) and a pressure decay constant (tau). A system as in claims 28 or 29, further CHARACTERIZED in that the at least one statistical moment of the input signal is one or more of the following: standard deviation (OP)( skewness (µ3p), and kurtosis 31. A system as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED in that; a storage region (315) that receives and stores a predetermined set of anthropometric parameters of the subject; and the estimation module (317) estimating the cardiovascular parameter as a function also of the measured anthropometric parameters. 32. A system as in as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED in that the input signal (P(k)) is a sequence of measured arterial pressure values that are measured over a measurement interval. 33. A system as in claim 32, further CHARACTERIZED in that: for each of a plurality of cardiac cycles, the momentcalculating module (310) calculates a mean pressure value (MAP, µ1); and the monitoring system adjusts the measurement interval as a function of change in the mean pressure value (MAP, µ1). A system as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED by a signalconditioning module (302) that highpass filters the input signal before the input signal is passed to the moment calculating module (310). A system as in any preceding claim, comprising a non invasive arterial pressure system connected to the processing system (300) for generating the input signal. A system as in any of claims 2834, comprising a catheter mounted blood pressure sensor connected to the processing system (300) for generating the input signal. A system as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED in that the momentcalculating module (310) computes both the standard deviation (OP) and at least one statistical moment (µ3P,µ4P), ), having an order greater than two, of the input signal (P(k)); the estimation module (317) estimates an arterial compliance value as a function of at least the statistical moment of the input signal having an order greater than two and computes an estimate of stroke volume as a function of the product of the standard deviation (OP) and the arterial compliance value. 38. A system as in claim 37, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the momentcalculating module (310) computes the kurtosis (µ4p) of the input signal; the estimation module (317) computes an estimate of stroke volume (SV) as a function not only of the product of the standard deviation (op) and the arterial compliance value, but also of an correction factor that is proportional to the kurtosis. 39. A system as in claim 28, further CHARACTERIZED in that: a heart rate monitor (340) (340) that measures the subject's heart rate (HR); the momentcalculating module (310) computes both the mean (pip) and the standard deviation (OP) of the input signal; the estimation module (317) computes, as the cardiovascular parameter, a pressure decay constant as a function that is proportional to the mean and inversely proportion to both the standard deviation (OP) and the heart rate (HR). 40. A system as in claim 39, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the estimation module (317) computes an arterial compliance value (K) and, as the cardiovascular parameter, a vascular resistance value (R) as a function that is proportional to the pressure decay constant (tau] and inversely proportion to the arterial compliance value (K), 41. A system as in claim 28, in which the cardiovascular parameter is arterial compliance (K), further CHARACTERIZED in that: the estimation module (317) determines an approximating function relating a set of clinically determined reference measurements to arterial compliance, in which the approximating function is a function of at least three different statistical moments of the input signal, as well as of a set of anthropometric values; the momentcalculating module (310) computes the three different statistical moments of the input signal (µP2, µP3, and µp4); the estimation module (317) estimates the arterial compliance (K) of the subject by evaluating the approximating function with the computed three different statistical moments of the input signal, as wel! as the measured set of anthropometric values of the subject 42. A system as in claim 41, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the monitoring system senses the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle; and the momentcalculating module (310) computes a set of pressureweighted time values (T(i)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; in which the approximating function is a function also of the statistical mornent(s) (,µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, and µ4t)of pressureweighted time values (T(j)). 43. A system as in claim 41, further CHARACTERIZED in that the momentcalculating module (310) computes at least two statistical moments ( µ4P, µ1T, µ2T, µ3T, and µ4T) not only of the input signal (P(k)), but also of the set of pressureweighted time values (Tfl)); in which the approximating function is a function of the computed statistical moments of both the input signal and of the set of pressureweighted time values (TO)). 44. A system as in claim 41, further CHARACTERIZED in that: a heart rate monitor (340) (340) that measures the subject's heart rate (HR); the estimation module (317) estimates stroke volume (SV) as a function of the product of the estimated arterial compliance (K) and the standard deviation (OP) of the input signal and computes cardiac output value (CO) as a function of the product of the estimated stroke volume and the measured heart rate (HR). 45. A system as in any of claims 2836, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the monitoring system senses the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle, the momentcalculating module (310; computes a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time and computes the statistical moment(s) ( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)); and the estimation module estimates the cardiovascular parameter as a function also of at least one of the statistical moments of the pressureweighted time values. 46. A system as in claim 41 or 45, in which the cardiovascular parameter is arterial compliance, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the estimation module (317) determines an approximating function relating a set of clinically determined reference measurements to arterial compliance, in which the approximating function is a function of the statistical moment(s) ( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)) and of a set of anthropometric values; the momentcalculating moduie (310) computes the statistical mornent(s) ( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j));and estimating the arterial compliance of the subject by evaluating the approximating function with the computed statistical moment(s) ( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T ust, P4i) of the pressureweighted time values (T(j)), as well as with a measured set of anthropometric values of the subject. 47. A system as in any of claims 2836, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the monitoring system senses the input signal over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle; the momentcalculating module (310) computes a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time and computes at least one statistical moment ( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T) mr) of the set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)); the estimation module (317) estimates the cardiovascular parameter as function of both the statistical moment(s) of the sequence of measured arterial pressure values and the statistical mornent(s)( µ1T,2T, µ3T, and µ4T) of the set of pressureweighted time values (TG)). 48. A system as in any of claims 2836, in which the cardiovascular parameter is cardiac stroke volume, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the momentcalculating module (310) calculates the standard deviation (OP) of the input signal over the measurement interval; and the estimation module (317) calculates an estimate of the cardiac stroke volume as a function of only one higher order statistical moment of the input signal, namely, the standard deviation (OP), 49. A system as in claim 48, further CHARACTERIZED in that: a heart rate monitor (340) (340) that measures the subject's heart rate (HR); and the estimation module (317) estimates current cardiac output of the subject by calculating the product of the heart rate (HR) and the standard deviation (o>) and scaling the product by a calibration constant. 50, A system as in claim 49, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the monitoring system measures a calibration cardiac output value; and the estimation module (317) calculates the calibration constant as the quotient between a calibration cardiac output estimate and the product of the heart rate (HR) and the standard deviation (OP). 51. A system as in any preceding claim, further CHARACTERIZED in that: standard deviation (OP) is included as the statistical moment, or as one of the statistical moments; the momentcalculating module (310) calculates a component standard deviation value of the input signal for each of a plurality of measurement intervals and computes a composite standard deviation value (op) as an average of the component standard deviation values; and the estimation module (317) uses the composite standard deviation value (OP) in calculating the estimate of the cardiac stroke volume. 52, A system as in any of claims 2850, further CHARACTERIZED in that: standard deviation (OP) is included as the statistical moment, or as one of the statistical moments; the momentcalculating module (310) determines a maximum value and a minimum value of the arterial blood pressure and approximates the standard deviation (O ) using a function of the difference between the maximum and minimum values. 53, A system as in claim 28, in which the cardiovascular parameter is cardiac stroke volume, further CHARACTERIZED in that: the momentcalculating module (310) calculates the standard deviation and kurtosis of the input signal; the estimation module (317) determines an arterial compliance value of the subject and estimates stroke volume as a function of the product of the standard deviation (op) and the arterial compliance value, as well as of an correction factor that is proportional to the kurtosis, A system as in claim 53, further CHARACTERIZED in that which the correction factor is γ(µ43), where y is a predetermined constant and jm is the kurtosis. A method for determining a cardiovascular parameter of a subject CHARACTERIZED by: sensing, over a period corresponding to at least one cardiac cycle, an input signal (P(k)) that indicates arterial blood pressure; computing a set of pressureweighted time values (T(j)), each corresponding to the product of a sensing time, relative to an initial time, and arterial pressure at the sensing time; and estimating the cardiovascular parameter as a function of the set of pressureweighted time values (T(i)). 

3207delnp2006Abstract(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006Claims(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006Claims(19062014).pdf
3207delnp2006Claims(29082014).pdf
3207delnp2006Correspondence Others(19062014).pdf
3207delnp2006Correspondence Others(29082014).pdf
3207delnp2006correspondenceothers 1.pdf
3207delnp2006CorrespondenceOthers(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006correspondenceothers.pdf
3207delnp2006Description (Complete)(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006description (complete).pdf
3207delnp2006Drawings(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006Form3(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006GPA(07032014).pdf
3207delnp2006Petition137(07032014).pdf
Patent Number  262889  

Indian Patent Application Number  3207/DELNP/2006  
PG Journal Number  39/2014  
Publication Date  26Sep2014  
Grant Date  22Sep2014  
Date of Filing  05Jun2006  
Name of Patentee  EDWARDS LIFESCIENCES CORPORATION  
Applicant Address  ONE EDWARDS WAY, IRVINE, CA 92614, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA  
Inventors:


PCT International Classification Number  A61B 5/02  
PCT International Application Number  PCT/US2004/040671  
PCT International Filing date  20041203  
PCT Conventions:
