Cardiovascular autonomic modulation in essential hypertension: Effect of tilting

Alberto Radaelli, Luciano Bernardi, Felice Valle, Stefano Leuzzi, Fabrizio Salvucci, Luisa Pedrotti, Eugenia Marchesi, Giorgio Finardi, Peter Sleight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To better understand the role played by the autonomic nervous system in essential hypertension, we used autoregressive power spectrum analysis to study the noncasual oscillations in RR interval, blood pressure, and skin blood flow in 40 subjects with mild to moderate hypertension and in 25 age- matched control subjects at low frequency (index of sympathetic activity to the heart and the peripheral circulation) and high frequency, respiratory related (index of vagal tone to the heart). RR interval, respiration, noninvasive systolic blood pressure, and skin arteriolar blood flow were simultaneously and continuously recorded with subjects in the supine position and immediately after tilting. The low-frequency component was not significantly different in the two groups either at the cardiac level (control versus hypertensive subjects: 39.1±4.3 versus 39.9±3.7 normalized units [NU]) or at the vascular level (1.52±0.17 versus 1.69±0.13 ln mm Hg2). After head-up tilting, the RR interval fluctuations were less in hypertensive subjects (low-frequency components from 39.9±3.7 to 48.4±4.1 NU, P2, P2, P2, P2). In hypertensive subjects with left ventricular hypertrophy, the low-frequency components in systolic blood pressure did not increase after tilting (from 1.75±0.33 to 2.05±0.41 ln mm Hg2). Baroreflex sensitivity, as assessed by spectrum analysis, was significantly lower in hypertensive than in control subjects (5.17±0.49 versus 13.18±2.44 ms/mm Hg, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994


  • autonomic nervous system
  • heart rate
  • hypertension, essential
  • spectrum analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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