On the reliability of frequency components in systolic arterial pressure in patients with Atrial fibrillation

Valentina D A Corino, Federico Lombardi, Luca T. Mainardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is characterized by desynchronization of atrial electrical activity causing a consequent irregular ventricular response. In AF, the beattobeat variation of blood pressure is increased because of variations in filling time and contractility. However, only a few studies have analyzed short-term blood pressure variations in AF, and we have recently observed a harmonic low-frequency (LF) component in systolic arterial pressure (SAP) during AF. Aim of the present study is to propose a method to verify the reliability of the spectral component found in SAP series, based on the position of the poles of the autoregressive spectral decomposition in the z-plane. In particular, 1,000 random permutations of the series allowed the definition of an area in the z-plane where poles from random process are likely to occur. Poles lying outside this area are considered as reliable oscillations. We tested the method on 53 recordings obtained at rest from patients with persistent AF. LF component was found in, respectively, 51 and 43 recordings in SAP and RR series. High-frequency (HF) component was found in all the recordings for both SAP and RR series. Using the proposed test, the percentage of reliable components in LF and HF bands was 80 and 38 in SAP series, and 20 and 18 in RR series. We concluded that, at variance with RR ones, SAP LF components are likely to represent true physiological oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Arterial pressure variability
  • Autoregressive spectral analysis
  • Baroreflex mechanisms
  • Rhythmical oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medicine(all)


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