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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Dec;279(6):R2208-13.

Cardiorespiratory interactions during resistive load breathing.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie Respiratoire Expérimentale, Théorique et Appliquée, Université Joseph Fourier, 38700 La Tronche, France.


The addition to the respiratory system of a resistive load results in breathing pattern changes and in negative intrathoracic pressure increases. The aim of this study was to use resistive load breathing as a stimulus to the cardiorespiratory interaction and to examine the extent of the changes in heart rate variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in relation to the breathing pattern changes. HRV and RSA were studied in seven healthy subjects where four resistive loads were applied in a random order during the breath and 8-min recording made in each condition. The HRV spectral power components were computed from the R-R interval sequences, and the RSA amplitude and phase were computed from the sinusoid fitting the instantaneous heart rate within each breath. Adding resistive loads resulted in 1) increasing respiratory period, 2) unchanging heart rate, and 3) increasing HRV and changing RSA characteristics. HRV and RSA characteristics are linearly correlated to the respiratory period. These modifications appear to be linked to load-induced changes in the respiratory period in each individual, because HRV and RSA characteristics are similar at a respiratory period obtained either by loading or by imposed frequency breathing. The present results are discussed with regard to the importance of the breathing cycle duration in these cardiorespiratory interactions, suggesting that these interactions may depend on the time necessary for activation and dissipation of neurotransmitters involved in RSA.

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