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Publication numberUS3762397 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 2, 1973
Filing dateApr 19, 1971
Priority dateApr 19, 1971
Also published asDE2215543A1, DE2215543B2
Publication numberUS 3762397 A, US 3762397A, US-A-3762397, US3762397 A, US3762397A
InventorsJ Cage
Original AssigneeHewlett Packard Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for the detection and recordation of high frequency sound in the cardiovascular system
US 3762397 A
Abstract
High frequency sound, such as that produced by turbulence, in the cardiovascular system is sensed, amplified, demodulated, and filtered to produce an average of the amplitude of the sound, the demodulated signal being synchronously averaged over a plurality of successive cycles of the heart to produce a clear signature trace of the demodulated sound, even in the presence of background noise.
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United States Patent 1 Cage Oct. 2, 1973 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE DETECTION AND RECORDATION OF HIGH FREQUENCY SOUND IN THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM OTHER PUBLICATIONS Moyer ct aI., Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers", Vol. 80, Part I, 196], pp. 717-721.

Primary ExaminerWiIliam E. Kamm Att0rneyA. C. Smith [571 ABSTRACT High frequency sound, such as that produced by turbulence, in the cardiovascular system is sensed, amplified, demodulated, and filtered to produce an average of the amplitude of the sound, the demodulated signal being synchronously averaged over a plurality of successive cycles of the heart to produce a clear signature trace of the demodulated sound, even in the presence of background noise.

9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures E 8 cc SYNC SIGNAL (I3 I4 r45 r I6 V I7 BAND -PASS SYNCHRONIZED BODY PRE-AMPLIFIER FILTER AMPLIFIER DEMODULATOR SIGNAL 2 AVERAGER MICROPHONE 21 DISPLAY PATENTEDUCT 2|975 SHEET 10F 2 ZzQw 026 P 23mg wzoxmomozz INVENTOR JOHN M. CAGE BY I Q ATTORNEY PATENTEI] 21973 3.762, 397

SHEET 2 BF 2 SOUND SOUND INTENSITY INTENSITY TIME (AFTER SYNC) TIME(AFTEESYNC) i3ure 2 SOUND SOUND INTENSITY INTENSITY 11"" "I TIME (AFTE R SYNC) TIME (AFTER SYNC) r'i ure 4 ISUI'B 5 souuo II INTENSITY INVEN'I'OR A TIME(AFTER SYNC) JOHN M.CAGE

BY igure 6 Q C gvwuc L ATTORNEY METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE DETECTION AND RECORDATION OF HIGH FREQUENCY SOUND IN THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Ausculation, i.e., the diagnostic monitoring of sounds made by internal organs or internal bodily parts, has been employed down through the years. The most widely used technique involves listening to cardiovascular sounds, generally with a stethoscope, and more recently with microphones, amplifiers and recording oscillographs.

Relatively loud, low frequency sounds are easily detected by modern Stethoscopes, while very weak, higher frequency sounds are lost to the diagnostician.

In addition to listening to a successive number of heartbeats, gating techniques have been developed to listen to only portions of each cycle of the heart. Also, techniques have been employed wherein only the low frequencies of the sounds are detected, or only the high frequencies at any one time.

However, in addition to the typical sounds and .vibrations produced by the pumping action of the heart, certain very weak, relatively high frequency sound is produced by turbulence in the blood flow, and this sound is not clearly detectable by present techniques. Even when the high-frequency sounds are loud enough to be heard by ausculation, the physician cannot accurately describe them.

The cardiovascular system of a human is so well designed that normal yound persons are relatively free of any turbulent sounds. However, even a healthy person with a good heart will usually produce very briefbursts of turbulent sound as the various heart valves close or open during each cycle of the heart. These sounds are produced by a short burst or leakageof blood through a valve just as it snaps shut or snaps open.

As the body ages, the blood system becomes less optimized and conditions appear which result in turbulence which in turn result in additional high frequency sounds. Most disorders of the heart will also produce turbulence symptomatic of the disorder. Forexample, a stenotic aortic valve or a mitral valve regurgitation will produce distinctive turbulence sound. A septal defect caused by congenital condition or by accident or disease permitting blood flow between the right and left cavities of theheart, either the atriums or the ventricose, will result in distinctive turbulence noise.

In addition, poor circulation due to stenosis of the arteries will produce turbulence in the blood flow through the blockage, and sound is produced in high frequency components. It has been found that over ninety percent (90 percent) of a coronary artery may be occluded before a heart attack occur. Since this closure builds up over a long periodof time and produces turbulence noise during the development period, early diagnosis based upon the detection of the-sound can lead to proper preattack treatment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention providesa novel methodand apparatus whereby the relatively high frequency sounds produced by turbulence in the cardiovascular system, sounds heretofore lost to the diagnostician, may be detected and recorded.

A sound transducer, such as a microphone, is positioned to pick up the sounds from the body, and the relatively high frequency components in a selected band, say from 800 to 1,200 Hz, are separated out, amplified, and demodulated to obtain an envelope of the amplitude of this sound. The demodulated output is transmitted to a computer of average transients, or synchronized averager, which is synchronized with a specific repetitive condition of the cardiovascular system, such as the R wave of the electrocardiogram (ECG). The demodulated signal output is thus synchronously averaged over a plurality of sweep periods covering one cycle of the heart, for example, 2 or 2 sweeps, to obtain a clear, smooth average demodulated output trace of the sound. Environmental noise and unsynchronized body noise are thereby eliminated from the averaged signal.

The trace of the averaged signal will be a signature .of the high frequency turbulence sound, which in turn will be distinctively related to the existingcondition of the cardiovascular system.

In another embodiment, the sound signals are averaged without demodulation to give useful information about the low frequency sounds, even ones of subaudible frequency.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a-preferred embodiment of the apparatus used in the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a traceof the demodulated high frequency sounds produced by turbulence .in the cardiovascular system of an adult with a normal, healthy heart and obtained vusingthe technique of the present invention.

'FIG. 3 is a trace similar to that of FIG. 2 for a person that has had at;least one heart attack.

FIG. 4 is a trace similarto that of FIG. 2 for a person with a late systolicmurmur in idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic .stenosis.

FIG. 5 is a trace ofthe demodulated high frequency sounds obtained for one cycle of the heart and without synchronous averaging over repeated cycles.

FIG. 6 is a trace of the low frequency sound from a normal person, without demodulation, averaged in a sycchronized signal averager.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1., a microphone 11 is placed against the body 12 of the person being tested near the source of the noise to be detected. For example, for heart disorders the microphone is placed on the chest over the heart. If a stenosed artery is to be examined, the microphone is placed as near to the occlusion as possible.

The detected sound is amplified in pre-amplifier l3 and transmitted to av band-passfilter 14 which passes only frequencies within the selected high frequency rang of interest, for example 800 to 1,200 Hz. The frequency range is flexible and the limits are not critical; selected bands within an overall range of from 200 to 20,000 Hz appear to be most useful. Bands can be selected togive the best discrimination between one disease condition and another.

The selected band of sound frequencies is amplified .16 which rectifiesand filters the sound signal to produce an output signal proportional to the running average of the amplitude of the sound in the selected frequency band, this envelope having the form seen more clearly in the traces of FIGS. 2-4 described below.

The demodulated sound signal is transmitted to a standard form of synchronized signal averager 17 or computer of average transients, for example the model HP 5480A instrument manufactured and sold by Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif, the assignee of this patent application. The synchronizing signal for the averager 17 is obtained from a standard form of electrocardiograph instrument 18 coupled to the subject via three adhesive ECG electrodes 19. The sync signal is delivered to the synchronous averager 17 from the ECG instrument preferably at the initial rise of the R wave in the heart cycle. Each demodulated sound signal averaged in the computer circuit will be synchronized with the R wave, and by averaging over a suitable number of sweeps or heart cycles, for example 2 or 2 sweeps, a very clean envelope signal is obtained for recording on the display instrument 21.

It should be understood that the invention could take other forms; for example the sound signal could be synchronized with other periodic conditins, for example parts of the QRS complex other than the initial rise of the R wave. Where there is no built-in sync signal due to cyclic sound variations, as would be the case with a venous stenosis, cyclic venous flow rates may be produced artificially by mechanical means that repetitiously constrict the vein. The synchronous averager would then be synchronized with the mechanical means.

The synchronous averager could utilize analog or digital averaging techniques. An alternative to synchronized averaging is to cross-correlate successive scans of the demodulated high frequency sounds.

There is shown in FIG. 2 the trace obtained with the apparatus of the present invention from a person with a normal, healthy heart. The sounds were measured with a microphone placed on the chest directly over the heart. The beginning of the trace at point A on the left hand side is synchronized with the early rise time of the R wave of the ECG of the subject, and the total trace covers one beat cycle of the heart. The trace is the average computed over 2 successive heart beats.

The first peak is the envelope of the very brief turbulent sounds made by the closing and opening of various valves just before the ventricles of the heart commence pumping blood into the arteries. The second peak is the envelope of the turbulence sounds made by the valves as the ventricles cease pumping and begin filling.

The sounds are relatively high frequency and weak amplitude, falling typically within the range over 400 Hz, and of a type not heard with a stethoscope since they are well over the range in which a stethoscope is sensitive. The well defined curve results from the demodulation of the sounds and the repeated averaging of the envelope obtained by the demodulation.

The trace shown in FIG. 3 was obtained under operating conditions similar to those employed to obtain FIG. 2 except the subject was a person with a late systolic murmur in idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis. There was an overgrowth of heart muscle near the outflow tract. The high frequency sound begins gradually at about the time the heart begins to pump blood and builds up to its loudest point just before the finish of the ventricular contraction. Thus this slight constriction in the heart makes a substantial murmur that is clearly defined as shown, building up during systole to a late peak.

The trace of FIG. 4 was obtained from a person who has had at least one coronary occlusion. The envelope of the sounds due to the closing of the mitral and aortic valves are seen, although these two peaks are not as crisp as those of FIG. 2. In addition, two smaller peaks appear between the two valve sounds, these two turbulent murmurs most probably being caused by damage left within the heart arteries.

These traces serve to illustrate the many possible forms of traces that can serve as signatures for the many different types of heart disease. These sounds can be detected during routine physicals and before serious damage occurs.

The advantage of synchronized time averaging over a relatively large number of sweeps, as utilized to obtain FIGS. 2 through 4, is seen by reference to FIG. 5 which is a trace of a single sweep of the demodulated noise between 800 and 1,200 I-Iz obtained from a subject. Although there is the appearance of a relatively loud sound near the beginning of the sweeps, no peaks are very clearly defined and the signature contains very little useful information of the type obtained from repeated averaging of a plurality of sweeps. Actually, the subject has a murmur which produces a noise peak between the mitral and aortic valve peaks and which became clear when 2 sweeps were synchronously averaged.

Note that in this technique it is not necessary that a regular, periodic heart rate exist, since the measured noise is synchronized with the R wave which may itself be irregularly spaced.

The present invention will be most useful in the diagnosis of septal defects, coronary artery disease, faults in prosthetic valves, stenosis and regurgitation of valves, stenosis in peripheral blood vessels, including veins, and aneurisms and shunts. There is a definite possibility of the measurement of blood pressures through the use of cuffs and partial occlusions, rapid diagnosis of myocardial infarction by observing sound resonances, quantitative measurement of blood velocity and physical dimensions of biological structures, and improved display of phonocardiograms.

In some cases, the sound signals are averaged in the synchronized signal averager without demodulation, demodulator 16 having been eliminated from the system, to give useful information about the low frequency sounds, even ones of sub-audible frequency. A trace of this type from a normal person is shown in FIG. 6, points A and B, being typically 40-50 cycle components of the sound of the heart valves, and the remaining sounds being the synchronously produced sounds within the chest cavity.

I claim:

1. The method of analyzing cardiovascular sound comprising the steps of:

detecting the sound signals produced repetitively from a source within the body;

detecting a periodic condition in the body synchronous with said repetitively produced sound signals; demodulating said detected sound signals to produce a data signal representative of the average of the amplitude over a selected past period of time; synchronizing the detected sound signals with said periodic condition in the body synchronous with said detected sound signals;

averaging a plurality of said demodulated signals over a plurality of successive time periods to obtain an average of the amplitudes of the demodulated signals; and

displaying said average of the amplitudes.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the step of synchronizing the detected sound signals with a periodic condition comprises the steps of synchronizing with an electrocardiographic signal.

3. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the step of detecting the sound signals comprises selecting a band pass above 200 Hz and below 20,000 Hz.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the step of averaging a plurality of sound signals comprises averaging over at least 2 signals.

5. Apparatus for analyzing cardiovascular sound comprising:

means for detecting the sound signals produced repetitively from a source within the body;

said periodic condition in the body synchronous with said detected sound signals;

means for demodulating said detected sound signals to produce a data signal representative of the average of the amplitude over a selected past period of time;

Means for synchronizing said detected sound signals with said periodic condition in the body synchronous with said detected sound signals;

means for averaging a plurality of said demodulated signals over a plurality of successive time periods to obtain an average of the amplitudes of the demodulated signals; and

means for displaying said average of the amplitudes.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein said means for averaging comprises a time averaging computer.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein said synchronizing means comprises means responsive to the electrocardiographic signal of said body.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein said means for detecting said sound signals comprises a microphone positioned near said body.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 including means for filtering said detected sound signals to pass signals in selected bands above 200 Hz and below 20,000 Hz.

} UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTIQN Patent No. 3,762,397 Dated October 2, 1973 Invent John M. Caqe It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby, corrected as shown below:

Column 5, line 20, "said" should read 'means for detecting a line 21, "detected" should. read repetitively produced Column 6, line 3, "Means' should read means Signed and sealed this-19th dayf b y 7 (SEAL) 1: test EDWARD M.FLET( IHER,JR. 4 MARSHALL DANN Attestlng Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-l050 0- I USCOMM-DC 60376-P69 0- 600 o U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE Ill. 0-36-334

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3087487 *Mar 17, 1961Apr 30, 1963Mnemotron CorpComputer of average response transients
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *Moyer et al., Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers , Vol. 80, Part I, 1961, pp. 717 721.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3878832 *May 14, 1973Apr 22, 1975Palo Alto Medical Research FouMethod and apparatus for detecting and quantifying cardiovascular murmurs and the like
US4519396 *Nov 5, 1981May 28, 1985American Home Products Corporation (Del.)Fetal heart rate monitor apparatus and method for combining electrically and mechanically derived cardiographic signals
US4592366 *Apr 16, 1984Jun 3, 1986Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.Automated blood pressure monitoring instrument
US4628939 *Nov 10, 1983Dec 16, 1986Hughes Aircraft CompanyMethod and improved apparatus for analyzing heart activity
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US6801877Jun 21, 2002Oct 5, 2004Entek Ird International CorporationPortable, self-contained data collection systems and methods
US7416531Oct 4, 2002Aug 26, 2008Mohler Sailor HSystem and method of detecting and processing physiological sounds
US7559894Sep 9, 2005Jul 14, 2009New Paradigm Concepts, LLCMultiparameter whole blood monitor and method
US9364184May 14, 2015Jun 14, 2016Sonomedica, Inc.Method of processing cardiovascular sound signals
US20050060123 *Oct 1, 2004Mar 17, 2005Entek Ird International CorporationPortable, self-contained data collection systems and methods
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CN103348226A *Dec 2, 2011Oct 9, 2013约翰起重机英国有限公司Component failure detection system
CN103348226B *Dec 2, 2011May 20, 2015约翰起重机英国有限公司Component failure detection system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification600/513, 600/528
International ClassificationA61B5/02, A61B5/025
Cooperative ClassificationA61B5/02
European ClassificationA61B5/02