Time versus frequency domain techniques for assessing baroreflex sensitivity

Pontus B. Persson, Marco DiRienzo, Paolo Castiglioni, Catherine Cerutti, Massimo Pagani, Natasa Honzikova, Solange Akselrod, Gianfranco Parati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Newer techniques to evaluate baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) are based on the analysis of blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) time series in the time or frequency domain. These novel approaches are steadily gaining popularity, since they do not require injection of vasoactive substances, nor do they rely on a complex experimental set-up. Aim This review outlines and compares some basic features of the latest methods to assess spontaneous baroreflex function. Results Modern techniques for the estimation of spontaneous BRS are based on a variety of signal processing schemes and derive information on the baroreflex function from different perspectives. Thus factors such as respiration and other non-stationary agents may have different influences on the estimates provided by each of these approaches. Notwithstanding such individual specificity, however, it has been observed that in several physiological and pathophysiological conditions these techniques often provide comparable information on BRS changes over time, particularly when the estimates are averaged over time windows of a few minutes. Conclusions Due to the general agreement in the pattern of BRS among most modern methods, it seems reasonable to employ the most validated of these techniques, for which data obtained in several studies are already available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1699-1705
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Baroreceptors
  • Blood pressure variability
  • Heart rate variability
  • Spectral analysis
  • Time series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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