Very high frequency oscillations in the heart rate and blood pressure of heart transplant patients



The authors studied the recently reported very high frequency (VHF) peaks in the heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) power spectra of heart transplant (HT) patients. These VHF peaks appear at frequencies much higher than the respiratory frequency, in addition to the typical low-frequency and high-frequency peaks. Twenty-five recordings obtained from 13 male HT patients (0.5–65 months following surgery) were compared with recordings from 14 normal male subjects. The ECG, continuous BP and respiration were recorded during 45 min of supine rest. Eight recordings from HT patients were excluded owing to arrhythmias. Spectral analysis was performed on all other recordings. VHF peaks were found in the spectra of both BP and HR in nine recordings obtained from six HT patients. In some cases, the power in the VHF peaks was markedly higher than that of the high-frequency peak. No VHF peaks were observed in eight recordings obtained from four HT patients or in recording from any of the normal subjects. No correlation was found between the incidence of VHF peaks and time after transplant. It was proved that the VHF peaks were not artifactual, and their significance within the framework of the theory of communication systems is discussed. The presence of those peaks was attributed to vagal denervation.


Cardiac transplantation Heart rate variability Blood pressure variability Spectral analysis Higher-order harmonics 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Abramson Center for Medical Physics, Sackler Faculty of Exact SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Heart-Lung Transplant UnitRabin Medical CenterPetach TikvaIsrael

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