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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Aug;13(8):816-20.

Assessment of autonomic nervous activity during gastrointestinal endoscopy: analysis of blood pressure variability by tonometry.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Tokushima, Japan.


We continuously measured blood pressure by tonometry in 30 patients during endoscopy to determine the influence of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy on cardiac events. Patients were divided into two groups: one group treated with scopolamine butylbromide as premedication (SB group) and another group without premedication (C group). Time- and frequency domain analyses of beat-to-beat systolic blood pressure variability were performed for 128 consecutive beats. For time-domain analysis, we calculated the coefficient of variation of systolic blood pressure (CV(BP)). For the frequency domain analysis, we determined the low-frequency (LF(BP); 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high-frequency (HF(BP); 0.15-0.40 Hz) powers of the variation in systolic blood pressure and the ratio of LF(BP) to HF(BP) (LF(BP)/HF(BP)) during endoscopy. The CV(BP) and HF(BP), indicators of parasympathetic tone, increased in the early phase of endoscopy but decreased significantly in the middle and late phases compared with the pre-endoscopy value. The ratio of LF(BP)/HF(BP), an indicator of indirect sympathetic tone, increased throughout the endoscopic procedure. Moreover, premedication with scopolamine butylbromide prevents the excessive parasympathetic nervous reflex when an endoscope passes through the upper digestive tract and also brings both decreased parasympathetic tone and increased sympathetic tone at the late phase of endoscopic procedure. Our results indicate that gastrointestinal endoscopy induced an autonomic nervous abnormality, which may contribute to the occurrence of cardiac events during endoscopic procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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