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Controlled breathing protocols probe human autonomic cardiovascular rhythmsThe purpose of this study was to determine how breathing protocols requiring varying degrees of control affect cardiovascular dynamics. We measured inspiratory volume, end-tidal CO2, R-R interval, and arterial pressure spectral power in 10 volunteers who followed the following 5 breathing protocols: 1) uncontrolled breathing for 5 min; 2) stepwise frequency breathing (at 0.3, 0.25, 0.2, 0.15, 0.1, and 0.05 Hz for 2 min each); 3) stepwise frequency breathing as above, but with prescribed tidal volumes; 4) random-frequency breathing (approximately 0.5-0.05 Hz) for 6 min; and 5) fixed-frequency breathing (0.25 Hz) for 5 min. During stepwise breathing, R-R interval and arterial pressure spectral power increased as breathing frequency decreased. Control of inspired volume reduced R-R interval spectral power during 0.1 Hz breathing (P < 0.05). Stepwise and random-breathing protocols yielded comparable coherence and transfer functions between respiration and R-R intervals and systolic pressure and R-R intervals. Random- and fixed-frequency breathing reduced end-tidal CO2 modestly (P < 0.05). Our data suggest that stringent tidal volume control attenuates low-frequency R-R interval oscillations and that fixed- and random-rate breathing may decrease CO2 chemoreceptor stimulation. We conclude that autonomic rhythms measured during different breathing protocols have much in common but that a stepwise protocol without stringent control of inspired volume may allow for the most efficient assessment of short-term respiratory-mediated autonomic oscillations.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Cooke, W. H. (Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, United States)
Cox, J. F.
Diedrich, A. M.
Taylor, J. A.
Beightol, L. A.
Ames, J. E. 4th
Hoag, J. B.
Seidel, H.
Eckberg, D. L.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: The American journal of physiology
Volume: 274
Issue: 2 Pt 2
ISSN: 0002-9513
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Cardiopulmonary