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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010;2010:3579-82. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2010.5627476.

Time-varying spectral analysis for comparison of HRV and PPG variability during tilt table test.

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  • 1Communications Technology Group, Aragóln Institute of Engineering Research, University of Zaragoza, Spain.


In this work we assessed the possibility of using the pulse rate variability (PRV) extracted from photoplethysmography signal as an alternative measurement of the HRV signal in non-stationary conditions. The study is based on the analysis of the changes observed during tilt table test in the heart rate modulation of 17 young subjects. Time-varying spectral properties of both signals were compared by time-frequency (TF) and TF coherence analysis. In addition, the effect of replacing PRV with HRV in the assessment of the changes of the autonomic modulation of the heart rate was considered. Time-frequency analysis revealed that: the TF spectra of both signals were highly correlated (0.99 ± 0.01); the difference between the instantaneous power, in LF and HF bands, obtained from HRV and PRV was small (, 10(-3) s(-2)) and their temporal patterns were highly correlated (0.98 ± 0.04 and 0.95 ± 0.06 in LF and HF bands respectively); TF coherence in LF and HF bands was high (0.97 ± 0.04 and 0.89 ± 0.08, respectively). Finally, the instantaneous power in LF band was observed to significantly increase during head-up tilt by both HRV and PRV analysis. These results suggest that, although some small differences in the time-varying spectral indices extracted from HRV and PRV exist, mainly in the HF band associated with respiration, PRV could be used as an acceptable surrogate of HRV during non-stationary conditions, at least during tilt table test.

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