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Reproducibility of heart rate variability parameters measured in healthy subjects at rest and after a postural change maneuver

By E.M. Dantas, C.P. Gonçalves, A.B.T. Silva, S.L. Rodrigues, M.S. Ramos, R.V. Andreão, E.B. Pimentel, W. Lunz and J.G. Mill


Heart rate variability (HRV) provides important information about cardiac autonomic modulation. Since it is a noninvasive and inexpensive method, HRV has been used to evaluate several parameters of cardiovascular health. However, the internal reproducibility of this method has been challenged in some studies. Our aim was to determine the intra-individual reproducibility of HRV parameters in short-term recordings obtained in supine and orthostatic positions. Electrocardiographic (ECG) recordings were obtained from 30 healthy subjects (20-49 years, 14 men) using a digital apparatus (sampling ratio = 250 Hz). ECG was recorded for 10 min in the supine position and for 10 min in the orthostatic position. The procedure was repeated 2-3 h later. Time and frequency domain analyses were performed. Frequency domain included low (LF, 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF, 0.15-0.4 Hz) bands. Power spectral analysis was performed by the autoregressive method and model order was set at 16. Intra-subject agreement was assessed by linear regression analysis, test of difference in variances and limits of agreement. Most HRV measures (pNN50, RMSSD, LF, HF, and LF/HF ratio) were reproducible independent of body position. Better correlation indexes (r > 0.6) were obtained in the orthostatic position. Bland-Altman plots revealed that most values were inside the agreement limits, indicating concordance between measures. Only SDNN and NNv in the supine position were not reproducible. Our results showed reproducibility of HRV parameters when recorded in the same individual with a short time between two exams. The increased sympathetic activity occurring in the orthostatic position probably facilitates reproducibility of the HRV indexes

Topics: Heart rate variability, Power spectral analysis, Reproducibility, Autonomic nervous system, Biology (General), QH301-705.5, Science, Q, DOAJ:Biology, DOAJ:Biology and Life Sciences, Medicine (General), R5-920, Medicine, R, DOAJ:Medicine (General), DOAJ:Health Sciences
Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Divulgação Científica
Year: 2010
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