A comprehensive PC solution to heart rate variability analysis in mental stress

R. Colombo, G. Mazzuero, F. Soffiantino, M. Ardizzoia, G. Minuco

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


To assess the modifications of the sympathovagal balance induced by mental stress, a computerized system has been developed which is able to carry out a complete spectral analysis of the heart rate variability (HRV) signal. Based on a personal computer, it acquires ECG (electrocardiography), respiratory, and blood pressure signals for each step of a mental stress trial. The collected data are then processed and spectral analysis is carried out by conventional FFT. In addition, an autoregressive identification algorithm computes the power and central frequency of the spectra peaks, allowing automatic classification of low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) peaks. The analysis executed for each step of the trial allows the comparison of the various spectral responses corresponding to different stimulations. This system was tested on 32 recently infarcted subjects and results show a significant increment in LF peak (P <0.005) and a significant reduction in HF peak (P <0.05) during a mental arithmetic task. Preliminary results suggest that this method can be considered a useful technique for evaluating the autonomic response to mental stress.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputers in Cardiology
PublisherPubl by IEEE
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0818621141
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1989
EventProceedings - Computers in Cardiology - Jerusalem, Isr
Duration: Sep 19 1989Sep 22 1989


OtherProceedings - Computers in Cardiology
CityJerusalem, Isr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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