, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 351-359
Date: 02 Feb 2010

A novel online method to monitor autonomic nervous activity based on arterial wall impedance and heart rate variability

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Abstract

This paper proposes a new method of evaluating autonomic nervous activity using the mechanical impedance of arterial walls and heart rate variability. The cardiovascular system is indispensable to life maintenance functions, and homeostasis is maintained by the autonomic nervous system. Accordingly, it is very important to be able to make diagnosis based on autonomic nervous activity within the body’s circulation. The proposed method was evaluated in surgical operations; the mechanical impedance of the arterial wall was estimated from arterial blood pressure and a photoplethysmogram, and heart rate variability was estimated using electrocardiogram R–R interval spectral analysis. In this paper, we monitored autonomic nervous system activity using the proposed system during endoscopic transthoracic sympathetic block surgery in eight patients with hyperhidrosis. The experimental results indicated that the proposed system can be used to estimate autonomic nervous activity in response to events during operations.