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Med Biol Eng Comput. 2006 Mar;44(3):161-9. Epub 2006 Mar 15.

Closed-loop control of the heart rate by electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve.

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Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers 7D, 9220, Aalborg East, Denmark.


Stimulation of the vagus nerve potentially decreases the risk of sudden cardiac death. An improvement of the technique would be its regulation using the heart rate (HR) as a feedback variable. We address the possibility of closed-loop control of the HR, focusing on the stimulation parameters, nerve fibre populations and the reproducibility of the cardiovascular response. The response to electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve was studied in seven acute experiments on pigs. Feedback regulation of the HR over periods of 5 min was carried out. Three main populations of myelinated fibres were found. The performance of the controller was significantly better at amplitudes higher than those needed for stimulation of the myelinated components only. A 18% change in the duration of the RR interval could be controlled in all experiments. The possibility of closed-loop control of the HR seems to be promising.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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