Baroreflex sensitivity measured by spectral and sequence analysis in cerebrovascular disease : methodological considerations.
Johnson P., Shore A., Potter J., Panerai R., James M.
Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) is impaired and of prognostic value in cerebrovascular disease. However, no studies to date have been published on the reproducibility of current methods of measuring BRS in this group. The reproducibility of sequence and spectral analysis methods were therefore assessed in subjects with cerebrovascular disease. A total of 14 subjects were assessed on 2 separate occasions at least 2 weeks apart, and beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP) and ECG trace were recorded for three 5-minute periods. These traces were then analyzed by spectral analysis using Fast Fourier Transform and sequence analysis. Reproducibility was calculated as the coefficient of variation (CV) and reproducibility coefficient (RC). There were no significant differences in heart rate, BP or BRS derived by either method between visits. Reproducibility was CV 22.2%, RC 6.04 ms/mmHg with spectral analysis, and CV 26.3%, RC 7.48 ms/mmHg for sequence analysis. There was close agreement between sequence and spectral derived BRS (r = 0.90). We have demonstrated that the use of spectral and sequence analysis to measure BRS is reproducible in subjects with cerebrovascular disease. These techniques are suitable for follow-up and intervention studies of BRS in this patient group.