Evidence for central organization of cardiovascular rhythms

Nicola Montano, Alberto Porta, Alberto Malliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spectral analysis of heart rate and arterial pressure variabilities is a powerful noninvasive tool that is increasingly used to infer alterations of cardiovascular autonomic regulation in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological conditions such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. A most important methodological issue to properly interpret the results obtained by the spectral analysis of cardiovascular variability signals is represented by the attribution of neurophysiologicai correlates to these spectral components. In this regard, recent application of spectral techniques to the evaluation of the oscillatory properties of sympathetic efferent activity in animals as well as in humans offers a new approach to a better understanding of the relationship between cardiovascular oscillations and autonomic regulation. The data so far collected seem to suggest the presence of a centrally organized neural code, characterized by excitatory and inhibitory neural mechanisms subserving the genesis and the regulation of cardiovascular oscillations concerning the major variables of autonomic regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Baroreflex mechanisms
  • Heart rate variability
  • Spectral analysis
  • Sympathetic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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