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Measurement of baroreflex gain from heart rate and blood pressure spectra: a comparison of spectral estimation techniques

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Gary Ford, Emeritus Professor Alan MurrayORCiD


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The baroreflex is the physiological control system linking blood pressure and heart rate. Baroreflex gain, alpha, can be estimated from the ratio of heart rate and blood pressure spectra. The aim of this study was to quantify differences in estimates of a incur-red by using four different spectral analysis techniques. ECG and blood pressure were recorded from 10 healthy subjects. Spectra were estimated using fast Fourier transform (FFT), zero-padded FFT (FFTZ), FFT Of the windowed autocovariance function (ACVF), and maximum-entropy (ME) methods. For each subject a mean value of alpha was calculated in the MF (0.05-0.15 Hz) and HF (0.15-0.35 Hz) bands. Mean alpha(MF) varied between subjects (range 2-10 ms mmHg(-1)) as did mean alpha(HF) (range 4-12 ms mmHg(-1)). Mean differences in alpha(MF) and alpha(HF) estimated with different techniques were small. Differences in alpha(MF) ranged from 0.074 ms mmHg(-1) (FFTZ against ME) to 0.298 ms mmHg(-1) (FFT against ACVF) and those in alpha(HF) ranged from 0.057 ms mmHg(-1) (FFT against FFTZ) to 0.342 ms mmHg(-1) (ACVF against ME). None of these differences were significant. The use of different spectral analysis techniques does not significantly affect estimates of alpha.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clayton RH, Bowman AJ, Ford GA, Murray A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physiological Measurement

Year: 1995

Volume: 16

Issue: 2

Pages: 131-139

Print publication date: 01/05/1995

ISSN (print): 0967-3334

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6579

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1088/0967-3334/16/2/005


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