Plethysmographic Peripheral Perfusion Index: Could It Be a New Vital Sign?

Elshal, M. M., A. M. Hasanin, M. Mostafa, and R. M. Gamal, "Plethysmographic Peripheral Perfusion Index: Could It Be a New Vital Sign?", Frontiers in medicine, vol. 8, pp. 651909, 2021.


The plethysmographic peripheral perfusion index (PPI) is a very useful parameter with various emerging utilities in medical practice. The PPI represents the ratio between pulsatile and non-pulsatile portions in peripheral circulation and is mainly affected by two main determinants: cardiac output and balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The PPI decreases in cases of sympathetic predominance and/or low cardiac output states; therefore, it is a useful predictor of patient outcomes in critical care units. The PPI could be a surrogate for cardiac output in tests for fluid responsiveness, as an objective measure of pain especially in un-cooperative patients, and as a predictor of successful weaning from mechanical ventilation. The PPI is simple to measure, easy to interpret, and has continuously displayed variables, making it a convenient parameter for detecting the adequacy of blood flow and sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.