Closed-loop cardiovascular interactions and the baroreflex cardiac arm: Modulations over the 24 h and the effect of hypertension

Gianfranco Parati, Paolo Castiglioni, Andrea Faini, Marco Di Rienzo, Giuseppe Mancia, Riccardo Barbieri, J. Philip Saul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Closed-loop models of the interactions between blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variations allow for estimation of baroreflex sensitivity (feedback effects of BP changes on heart rate) while also considering the feedforward effects of heart rate on BP. Our study is aimed at comparing modulations of feedback and feedforward couplings over 24 h in normotensive and hypertensive subjects, by assessing closed-loop baroreflex models in ambulatory conditions. Continuous intra-arterial BP recordings were performed for 24 h in eight normotensive and eight hypertensive subjects. Systolic BP (SBP) and pulse interval (PI) beat-by-beat series were analyzed by an autoregressive moving average model over consecutive 6-min running windows, estimating closed-loop feedback and feedforward gains in each window. The open-loop feedback gain was estimated for comparison. Normotensive and hypertensive patients were compared during wake (18:00-22:00) and sleep (23:00-5:00) periods by a mixed-effect linear model at p < 0.05. In both groups feedback (feedforward) gain averaged values were higher (lower) in sleep than in wake. Moreover, the closed-loop feedback gain was higher in normotensive subjects both in wake and sleep, whereas the closed-loop feedforward gain was higher in hypertensive subjects during sleep. By contrast, no significant differences were found between the normotensive and hypertensive groups for the open-loop feedback gain. Therefore, the closed-loop SBP-PI model can detect circadian alterations in the feedforward gain of PI on SBP and derangements of spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity in hypertension not detectable with the open-loop approach. These findings may help to obtain a more comprehensive assessment of the autonomic dysfunction underlying hypertension and for the in-depth evaluation of the benefits of rehabilitation procedures on autonomic cardiovascular modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number477
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Arterial baroreflex
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Blood pressure spectral analysis
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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