JOURNAL ARTICLE

Assessment of autonomic function in humans by heart rate spectral analysis

B Pomeranz, R J Macaulay, M A Caudill, I Kutz, D Adam, D Gordon, K M Kilborn, A C Barger, D C Shannon, R J Cohen
American Journal of Physiology 1985, 248 (1 Pt 2): H151-3
3970172
Spectral analysis of spontaneous heart rate fluctuations were assessed by use of autonomic blocking agents and changes in posture. Low-frequency fluctuations (below 0.12 Hz) in the supine position are mediated entirely by the parasympathetic nervous system. On standing, the low-frequency fluctuations increase and are jointly mediated by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. High-frequency fluctuations, at the respiratory frequency, are decreased by standing and are mediated solely by the parasympathetic system. Heart rate spectral analysis is a powerful noninvasive tool for quantifying autonomic nervous system activity.

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