Effect of postural changes on arterial baroreflex sensitivity assessed by the spontaneous sequence method and Valsalva manoeuvre in healthy subjects
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The objective of this study was to compare the baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) assessed by the new, non-invasive, spontaneous sequence method (BRS-sequence) with the Valsalva manoeuvrebased BRS. Fourteen healthy volunteers were studied in the supine position, during 60° head-up tilt (HUT) and during −30° head-down tilt (HDT). Blood pressure and R-R intervals were continuously and non-invasively recorded using a Finapres device. The BRS-sequence was assessed by analysing the slopes of spontaneously occurring sequences of three or more consecutive beats in which systolic blood pressure and R-R interval of the following beat increased or decreased in the same direction in a linear fashion; it was compared with data obtained during the Valsalva manoeuvre in each position. The time and frequency domain indices of R-R interval variability were also evaluated. The mean difference of BRS between the two non-invasive methods was 3.86 ms/mmHg with a standard deviation of 9.14 ms/mmHg. BRS was decreased during HUT and increased during HDT as assessed by both techniques. The changes in BRS were associated with vagal withdrawal and sympathetic activation during HUT and enhancement in the cardiac vagal tone and reduction in the sympathetic activity during HDT. We conclude that the BRS-sequence technique provides a reliable method to study the neural control of the circulation, although the body position in consecutive measurements needs to be standardized.
Keywordsarterial baroreflexes posture non-invasive measurements
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