Assessment of baroreflex sensitivity from spontaneous oscillations of blood pressure and heart rate: Proven clinical value?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The baroreceptor-heart rate reflex (baroreflex sensitivity, BRS) is a key mechanism contributing to the neural regulation of the cardiovascular system. Several methods have been proposed so far to assess BRS by analyzing the spontaneous beat-to-beat fluctuations of arterial blood pressure and heart rate. These methods are inherently simple, non-invasive and low-cost. This study is an attempt to address the question of whether spontaneous baroreflex methods have proven to be of value in the clinical setting. In the first part of this article, we critically review most representative clinical studies using spontaneous BRS techniques either for risk stratification or treatment evaluation, these being major issues in the clinical management of the patients. In the second part, we address two important aspects of spontaneous BRS measurements: measurability and reliability. Estimation of BRS in the studies selected for the review was performed according to the sequence, transfer function, alpha-index and phase-rectified signal averaging method. Arterial blood pressure was recorded non-invasively during supine, short-term (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-753
Number of pages13
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015



  • baroreceptors
  • non-invasive
  • reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)

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