Power spectrum analysis of heart rate fluctuation: a quantitative probe of beat-to-beat cardiovascular control

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Science  10 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4504, pp. 220-222
DOI: 10.1126/science.6166045


Power spectrum analysis of heart rate fluctuations provides a quantitative noninvasive means of assessing the functioning of the short-term cardiovascular control systems. We show that sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity make frequency-specific contributions to the heart rate power spectrum, and that renin-angiotensin system activity strongly modulates the amplitude of the spectral peak located at 0.04 hertz. Our data therefore provide evidence that the renin-angiotensin system plays a significant role in short-term cardiovascular control in the time scale of seconds to minutes.

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