Investigating Feed-Forward Neural Regulation of Circulation From Analysis of Spontaneous Arterial Pressure and Heart Rate Fluctuations

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Abstract

Background

Analysis of spontaneous fluctuations in systolic arterial pressure (SAP) and pulse interval (PI) reveals the occurrence of sequences of consecutive beats characterized by SAP and PI changing in the same (+PI/+SAP and -PI/-SAP) or opposite (-PI/+SAP and +PI/-SAP) direction. Although the former reflects baroreflex regulatory mechanisms, the physiological meaning of -PI/+SAP and +PI/-SAP is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that -PI/+SAP and +PI/-SAP "nonbaroreflex" sequences represent a phenomenon modulated by the autonomic nervous system reflecting a feed-forward mechanism of cardiovascular regulation.

Conclusions

These results suggest that nonbaroreflex sequences represent the expression of an integrated, neurally mediated, feed-forward type of short-term cardiovascular regulation able to interact dynamically with the feedback mechanisms of baroreflex origin in the control of heart period. (Circulation. 1999;99:1760-1766.)

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