Spectral analysis of r-r and arterial pressure variabilities to assess sympatho-vagal interaction during mental stress in humans

Massimo Pagani, Raffaello Furlan, Paolo Pizzinelli, Wilma Crivellaro, Sergio Cerutti, Alberto Malliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We tested the hypothesis that spectral analysis of the R-R in-terval and systolic arterial pressure variabilities allows assess-ment of the dynamic changes in neural control of the cardio-vascular system in men undergoing mental stress testing. Mental arithmetic increased the low-frequency components of R-R and systolic arterial pressure, i.e. markers of sympathetic activity to the SA node and the vasculature, respectively; it also decreased the high frequency component of R-R variability, a marker of vagal activity. Spectral analysis of R-R and systolic arterial pressure variabilities may be used in the clinic to test the dynamic effects of mental stress on both sympathetic and vagal activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S14-S15
JournalJournal of Hypertension, Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 1989



  • Mental stress
  • Spectral analysis
  • Sympathetic activity
  • Vagal activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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