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Multimodal Pressure-Flow Analysis: Application of Hilbert Huang Transform in Cerebral Blood Flow Regulation


Quantification of nonlinear interactions between two nonstationary signals presents a computational challenge in different research fields, especially for assessments of physiological systems. Traditional approaches that are based on theories of stationary signals cannot resolve nonstationarity-related issues and, thus, cannot reliably assess nonlinear interactions in physiological systems. In this review we discuss a new technique called multimodal pressure flow (MMPF) method that utilizes Hilbert-Huang transformation to quantify interaction between nonstationary cerebral blood flow velocity (BFV) and blood pressure (BP) for the assessment of dynamic cerebral autoregulation (CA). CA is an important mechanism responsible for controlling cerebral blood flow in responses to fluctuations in systemic BP within a few heart-beats. The MMPF analysis decomposes BP and BFV signals into multiple empirical modes adaptively so that the fluctuations caused by a specific physiologic process can be represented in a corresponding empirical mode. Using this technique, we showed that dynamic CA can be characterized by specific phase delays between the decomposed BP and BFV oscillations, and that the phase shifts are significantly reduced in hypertensive, diabetics and stroke subjects with impaired CA. Additionally, the new technique can reliably assess CA using both induced BP/BFV oscillations during clinical tests and spontaneous BP/BFV fluctuations during resting conditions.

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Correspondence to Vera Novak.

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Lo, M., Hu, K., Liu, Y. et al. Multimodal Pressure-Flow Analysis: Application of Hilbert Huang Transform in Cerebral Blood Flow Regulation. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2008, 785243 (2008).

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  • Cerebral Blood Flow
  • Nonlinear Interaction
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Physiological System
  • Systemic Blood Pressure