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Measures of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic outflow from heartbeat dynamics

Valenza, Gaetano and Citi, Luca and Saul, J Philip and Barbieri, Riccardo (2018) 'Measures of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic outflow from heartbeat dynamics.' Journal of Applied Physiology, 125 (1). 19 - 39. ISSN 8750-7587

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Abstract

Reliable and effective noninvasive measures of sympathetic and parasympathetic peripheral outflow are of crucial importance in cardiovascular physiology. Although many techniques have been proposed to take up this long-lasting challenge, none has proposed a satisfying discrimination of the dynamics of the two separate branches. Spectral analysis of heart rate variability is the most currently used technique for such assessment. Despite its widespread use, it has been demonstrated that the subdivision in the low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands does not fully reflect separate influences of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, respectively, mainly due to their simultaneous action in the LF. Two novel heartbeat-derived autonomic measures, the sympathetic activity index (SAI) and parasympathetic activity index (PAI), are proposed to separately assess the time-varying autonomic nervous system synergic functions. Their efficacy is validated in landmark autonomic maneuvers generally employed in clinical settings. The novel measures move beyond the classical frequency domain paradigm through identification of a set of coefficients associated with a proper combination of Laguerre base functions. The resulting measures were compared with the traditional LF and HF power. A total of 236 ECG recordings were analyzed for validation, including autonomic outflow changes elicited by procedures of different nature and temporal variation, such as postural changes, lower body negative pressure, and handgrip tests. The proposed SAI-PAI measures consistently outperform traditional frequency-domain indexes in tracking expected instantaneous autonomic variations, both vagal and sympathetic, and may aid clinical decision making, showing reduced intersubject variability and physiologically plausible dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autonomic nervous system; heart rate variability; Laguerre expansion; parasympathetic activity index; sympathetic activity index; sympathovagal balance
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2018 15:38
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22870

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