Mechanisms of Periodic Heart Rate Oscillations: A Study Using Controlled Breathing Tests

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An orthostatic test with frequency-controlled breathing (with periods of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 s) was used to analyze frequency estimates of the heart rate variability (HRV) spectrum in the low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) ranges in 36 volunteers (26 men and 10 women) aged 19–21 years without signs of heart or respiratory pathology. The subjects took a breath at the moment of an auditory signal. There were no other requirements for the respiration rhythm. Variables were compared using Wilcoxon's test for pairwise comparisons; correlations were estimated by Spearman's rank correlation R test. The sensitivities of the LF and HF ranges of the HRV spectrum to periodic respiratory perturbations at different frequencies were demonstrated to differ from each other. Autonomous 0.10- and 0.25-Hz circuits of oscillatory processes were found in HRV. The transition zone of influence of these circuits was located in the region around 0.125 Hz. The characteristics of the 0.10- and 0.25-Hz oscillations in HRV were studied. It was demonstrated that the 0.10-Hz oscillatory process is a potent mechanism of heart rate control, is affected by external factors, and determines the dynamics of the autonomic nervous state of the body, while the 0.25-Hz process is a regulatory mechanism of medium strength, is resistant to external factors, and characterizes the adaptation reserve of the autonomic nervous control of the heart rate, as well as the autonomic nervous state of the body. Resonance responses in the HRV spec-trum can be used for studying the characteristics of the 0.10- and 0.25-Hz oscillations.

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