Power spectral analysis of heart rate variability during graded head-up tilting in patients with vasodepressor syncope

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. Jun-Jul 1995;22(6-7):472-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.1995.tb02048.x.


1. Two groups of age- and sex-matched subjects, eight healthy controls and 10 patients, suffering from recurrent vasodepressor syncope, participated in a study to examine autonomic function and sequential changes in power distribution of heart rate (HR) variability during graded head-up tilt. 2. The following autonomic function tests were performed: valsalva ratio, HR responses to deep breathing and posture, BP responses to sustained handgrip and postural change. Each subject was tilted at 15 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees and 80 degrees head-up, each for 15 min, or until symptoms occurred. The eight control subjects completed the tilt study without any symptoms, while all 10 patients developed presyncope and/or syncope at various tilt angles. 3. Resting blood pressure (BP) was lower in the patient group, while resting HR, autonomic function tests and resting HR variability components were similar in the two groups. 4. The control group showed a progressive increase in low frequency power component (LF) from supine to end tilt (delta LF 20.06 +/- 14.50%) and a progressive fall in high frequency (HF) component (delta HF - 24.62 +/- 10.64%). In contrast, in the patient group, LF fell during tilt in the presyncope period (delta LF - 10.57 +/- 12.93%, P < 0.01 vs control group). HF and HF:LF ratio responses did not differ significantly in the two groups. 5. At end tilt, the increase in plasma noradrenaline was significantly greater in the control group than in the patient group (delta NA 0.83 +/- 0.27 vs 0.28 +/- 0.14 pmol/mL, P < 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Sinus of Valsalva / physiology
  • Syncope / physiopathology*
  • Tilt-Table Test


  • Norepinephrine