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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Noninvasive assessment of the cardiac baroreflex: response to downward tilting and comparison with the phenylephrine method.

OBJECTIVES: We studied the relation between changes in systolic blood pressure and RR interval during downward tilting in comparison with assessment of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) measured by the phenylephrine method (Phe-BRS) and with measures of heart rate variability (HRV). BACKGROUND: The method most extensively used for assessing BRS involves bolus injections of phenylephrine. Several noninvasive methods proposed to assess BRS have not been widely applied in the clinical setting. METHODS: Sixteen healthy male volunteers were studied (mean age +/- SD 27.5+/-4.6 years). Arterial blood pressure using tonometry and electrocardiogram was simultaneously recorded. After 20 min of 70 degrees upright tilting, the table was returned to supine position at a speed of 3.2 degrees/s. Subsequently, BRS was assessed using an intravenous bolus injection of phenylephrine (2 to 3 microg/kg). Heart rate variability under resting conditions also was analyzed. RESULTS: In all subjects, a beat to beat systolic blood pressure increase associated with corresponding RR interval lengthening was observed during downward tilting as well as during phenylephrine administration. During both testing procedures, these two variables showed linear correlation, and the slope of regression line during downward tilting (DT-BRS) correlated significantly with Phe-BRS (r = 0.79, p = 0.0003). The DT- and Phe-BRS also correlated significantly with the high frequency component of resting HRV (r = 0.70, p = 0.0023 for DT-BRS; r = 0.58, p = 0.0185 for Phe-BRS). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that in a small homogeneous group DT-BRS provided an assessment of reflex cardiac vagal function comparable to that obtained by the phenylephrine method.[1]


  1. Noninvasive assessment of the cardiac baroreflex: response to downward tilting and comparison with the phenylephrine method. Takahashi, N., Nakagawa, M., Saikawa, T., Ooie, T., Akimitsu, T., Kaneda, K., Hara, M., Iwao, T., Yonemochi, H., Ito, M., Sakata, T. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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