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

Science. 1981 Jul 10;213(4504):220-2. 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Computers
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glycopyrrolate / pharmacology
  • Heart Rate* / drug effects
  • Methods
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Renin / physiology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Teprotide


  • Angiotensins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Oligopeptides
  • Nitroprusside
  • Propranolol
  • Teprotide
  • Renin
  • Glycopyrrolate