Sympathetic overactivity in subjects complaining of unexplained fatigue

M. Pagani, D. Lucini, G. S. Mela, W. Langewitz, A. Malliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Theoretical and practical considerations suggest that in subjects complaining of fatigue, in the absence of evident organ dysfunction, an alteration in the autonomic nervous system might be present as a functional correlate. 2. Autoregressive spectral analysis of R-R interval variability from a surface EGG, was used in healthy control subjects (n=24, age 45 ± 4 years) and in subjects complaining of unexplained fatigue (n=53, age 46 ± 9 years) to obtain quantitative indices of the state of the sympathovagal balance, both at rest and during a mental stimulus (mental arithmetic), capable of enhancing sympathetic drive. Sympathetic and vagal modulations were inferred from the normalized powers of the low frequency and high frequency spectral components respectively. 3. We observed in patients, at rest, a prevailing low frequency component of R-R variability (patients low frequencys 73 ± 11, control subjects 51 ± 10 normalized units, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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