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Effects of acute clonidine administration on power spectral analysis of heart rate variability in healthy humans



Effects of acute clonidine administration on power spectral analysis of heart rate variability in healthy humans



Journal of Autonomic Pharmacology 18(5): 307-312



1. To investigate the relationship between the autonomic drive to the heart and heart rate variability, as evaluated by power spectral analysis, we studied the effect of clonidine (300 microg), a central sympatholytic agent, on heart rate variability. 2. Six healthy subjects (mean age 31 +/- 3 years) were studied in the supine and the sitting position (15 min each) on two different occasions, respectively, before and after clonidine administration. Using an autoregressive approach, the low frequency (LF) and the high frequency (HF) components of power spectral analysis were measured, and their ratio was calculated. Blood pressure was monitored throughout the study and plasma catecholamines were measured at the end of each period. 3. Before clonidine, assumption of the sitting position induced increases in LF, LF/HF ratio, blood pressure and plasma noradrenaline. Clonidine induced remarkable reductions in the normalized values of the LF component and the LF/HF ratio in both the resting and the sitting position (supine: LF = -68%, LF/HF ratio = -80%; sitting: LF = -23%, LF/HF ratio = -55%) without affecting the central frequencies of LF and HF components. Blood pressure and plasma catecholamines also significantly decreased after clonidine. 4. These results support the hypothesis that the LF component of HRV, expressed in normalized units, is an indicator of the sympathetic control of the heart. In addition, this component seems to be largely of central origin, because it is markedly reduced by the central sympatholytic action of clonidine.

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Accession: 010544177

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PMID: 9831231


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