Monitoring of Autonomic Activity by Cardiovascular Variability: How to Measure?

  • André E. AubertEmail author
  • Bart Verheyden


Cardiovascular variability in heart rate and blood pressure can be used to quantify the autonomic modulation of cardiovascular function in space and on Earth. Although the first studies were only published some 40 years ago, there is presently a vast amount of knowledge from numerous publications (a PubMed search gives 23,179 hits) that allows a better insight into the neural control mechanisms of the heart. The development of methods to measure cardiovascular variability prompted a multidisciplinary approach since many aspects are involved: mathematics, physics, signal processing, physiology, and cardiology. The current chapter briefly outlines the physiological background and the fundamental methodology used in the field of neurocardiology such as data recording, analysis in time domain, in frequency domain, and nonlinear dynamics. Finally some applications and benefits of these methods in health and disease monitoring are discussed.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental CardiologyUniv. Hospital GasthuisbergLeuvenBelgium

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