JOURNAL ARTICLE

Spectral analyses of cardiovascular control in rodents with spinal cord injury

Jessica A Inskip, Leanne M Ramer, Matt S Ramer, Andrei V Krassioukov, Victoria E Claydon
Journal of Neurotrauma 2012 May 20, 29 (8): 1638-49
22260380
The severity of injury to cardiovascular autonomic pathways following clinical spinal cord injury (SCI) can be evaluated with spectral analyses. Whether this technique provides a translatable assessment of cardiovascular autonomic function in rodent SCI is unknown. Beat-to-beat blood pressure and pulse interval were measured in male rats 1 month after complete T3 or T10 SCI, and in uninjured control animals. Univariate autoregressive spectral analyses were performed and the power of the low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and very low frequency (VLF) peaks identified. Frequency domain variables were correlated with the severity of orthostatic hypotension (OH) and the severity of hypertension during autonomic dysreflexia (AD). Total heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure variability (BPV) were reduced in animals with T3, but not T10, SCI. VLF and LF HRV were reduced and HF HRV was increased in animals with T3 SCI compared to controls; there were no changes in animals with T10 SCI. BPV in the VLF and LF range was reduced in animals with T3 SCI, but not T10 SCI. In all animals with SCI, severity of OH was positively correlated with LF BPV, and negatively correlated with HF BPV. Severity of AD was positively correlated with HF BPV and HF HRV, and negatively correlated with VLF HRV. Spectral analyses can detect alterations in cardiovascular autonomic function in animals with SCI at rest. These parameters underscore the distinct cardiovascular ramifications of high- versus low-thoracic SCI, and correlate with the severity of AD and OH, clinically-relevant measures of abnormal blood pressure control.

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