Physiol. Res. 52: 299-309, 2003

A Dampening Effect of Pulse Interval Variability on Blood Pressure Variations with Respect to Primary Variability in Blood Pressure during Exercise


Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, and 1Military Academy, Brno, Czech Republic

Received May 6, 2002
Accepted June 26, 2002

The correlation between baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and the spectrum component at a frequency of 0.1 Hz of pulse intervals (PI) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) was studied. SBP and PI of 51 subjects were recorded beat-to-beat at rest (3 min), during exercise (0.5 W/kg of body weight, 9 min), and at rest (6 min) after exercise. BRS was determined by a spectral method (a modified alpha index technique). The subjects were divided into groups according to the spectral amplitude of SBP at a frequency of 0.1 Hz. The following limits of amplitude (in mm Hg) were used: very high ≥ 5.4 (VH); high 5.4 > H ≥ 3 (H); medium 3 > M ≥ 2 (M), low < 2 (L). We analyzed the relationships between 0.1 Hz variability in PI and BRS at rest, during the exercise and during recovery in subgroups VH, H, M, L. The 0.1 Hz variability of PI increased significantly with increasing BRS in each of the groups with identical 0.1 Hz variability in SBP. This relationship was shifted to the lower values of PI variability at the same BRS with a decrease in SBP variability. The primary SBP variability increased during exercise. The interrelationship between the variability of SBP, PI and BRS was identical at rest and during exercise. A causal interrelationship between the 0.1 Hz variability of SBP and PI, and BRS was shown. During exercise, the increasing primary variability in SBP due to sympathetic activation was present, but it did not change the relationship between variability in pulse intervals and BRS.

Key words
Baroreflex sensitivity • Spectral analysis • Heart rate variability • Blood pressure variability • Exercise

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© 2003 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences