Spectral analysis of hemodynamics during infusions of epinephrine and norepinephrine in men

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1994 May;76(5):1914-21. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1994.76.5.1914.


Spectral analysis of fluctuations in heart rate (HR) and arterial blood pressure (BP) during a 6-h infusion of epinephrine (15 ng.kg-1.min-1) or norepinephrine (30 ng.kg-1.min-1) in 10 normotensive males was used to analyze effects of peripheral sympathetic nervous system activity and adrenal medullary discharge on cardiovascular variability. Power spectra were calculated for each 5-min period for HR, systolic BP, and diastolic BP to yield power values for three frequency bands: low (0.02-0.06 Hz), mid (0.07-0.14 Hz), and high (0.15-0.40 Hz). Infusion of epinephrine and norepinephrine induced plasma concentrations of epinephrine and norepinephrine, respectively, within the high physiological range. Spectral analysis showed that low-frequency fluctuations of BP during infusions of epinephrine and midfrequency fluctuations of BP during infusion of norepinephrine changed in opposite directions. These fluctuations may represent different components of short-term cardiovascular control mechanisms during situations that mimic increased sympathoadrenal activity. No changes were observed in HR fluctuations or high-frequency fluctuations of BP after either catecholamine. Our data imply that changes in concentrations of circulating catecholamines cannot be unequivocally labeled as indexes of an altered sympathoadrenal involvement in short-term cardiovascular control.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Baroreflex / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology*
  • Renin / blood
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects
  • Stroke Volume / drug effects
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects


  • Aldosterone
  • Renin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine