Non-respiratory components of heart rate variability in heart transplant recipients: Evidence of autonomic reinnervation?

L. Bernardi, F. Valle, S. Leuzzi, M. Rinaldi, E. Marchesi, C. Falcone, L. Martinelli, M. Vigano, G. Finardi, A. Radaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Although the high-frequency fluctuations in R-R interval (respiratory sinus arrhythmia) observed in heart transplant recipients are not a reliable marker of reinnervation because of a previously shown direct mechanical effect of breathing, the presence of a non-respiration-related low-frequency oscillation reflects rhythms generated outside the heart, and thus could be neurally mediated. 2. To evaluate the presence of reinnervation, the spontaneous variability in R-R interval was investigated, supine and after passive tilting, in 23 heart transplant recipients (age 43 years, range 23- 64 years) and in 25 normotensive control subjects by autoregressive spectral analysis of low- and high-frequency spontaneous fluctuations in R-R interval and respiration. The response of R-R interval to amyl nitrite inhalation was also evaluated in five heart transplant recipients and eight control subjects. 3. Detectable low-frequency oscillations, unrelated to respiration, were present in 13/23 heart transplant recipients, particularly in those who were transplanted at least 20 months earlier (11/14). The natural logarithm of the power of low-frequency fluctuations was markedly lower than in control subjects (0.75±0.21 versus 5.62±0.20 ms2, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-545
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • autonomic nervous system
  • heart rate variability
  • heart transplantation
  • power spectrum analysis
  • reinnervation
  • respiratory sinus arrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-respiratory components of heart rate variability in heart transplant recipients: Evidence of autonomic reinnervation?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this