Nonlinear effects of respiration on the crosstalk between cardiovascular and cerebrovascular control systems

Vlasta Bari, Andrea Marchi, Beatrice De Maria, Gianluca Rossato, Giandomenico Nollo, Luca Faes, Alberto Porta

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Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulatory systems are vital control mechanisms responsible for guaranteeing homeostasis and are affected by respiration. This work proposes the investigation of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular control systems and the nonlinear influences of respiration on both regulations through joint symbolic analysis (JSA), conditioned or unconditioned on respiration. Interactions between cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulatory systems were evaluated as well by performing correlation analysis between JSA indexes describing the two control systems. Heart period, systolic and mean arterial pressure, mean cerebral blood flow velocity and respiration were acquired on a beat-to-beat basis in 13 subjects experiencing recurrent syncope episodes (SYNC) and 13 healthy individuals (non-SYNC) in supine resting condition and during head-up tilt test at 60° (TILT). Results showed that JSA distinguished conditions and groups, whereas time domain parameters detected only the effect of TILT. Respiration affected cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulatory systems in a nonlinear way and was able to modulate the interactions between the two control systems with different outcome in non-SYNC and SYNC groups, thus suggesting that the analysis of the impact of respiration on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular regulatory systems might improve our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning the development of postural-related syncope.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2067
Publication statusPublished - May 13 2016



  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Baroreflex
  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Conditional joint symbolic analysis
  • Head-up tilt
  • Heart rate variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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