Cardiac autonomic profile during rest and working memory load in essential hypotensive women

Massimiliano de Zambotti, Naima Covassin, Nicola Cellini, Michela Sarlo, Luciano Stegagno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To our knowledge, no previous study has provided reliable data supporting a different modulation of the Neurovegetative system in essential hypotension. Our purpose was to provide, in essential hypotensive women compared to normotensives, evidence of a distinct sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac control. Cardiovascular and autonomic indexes derived by impedance cardiography (heart rate, HR; pre-ejection period, PEP), photoplethysmographic technique (blood pressure, BP) and heart rate variability analysis (high and low frequencies power, HF and LF) were continuously collected during rest and mental stress condition. Hypotensives, compared to normotensives, exhibited prolonged PEP (low sympathetic tone) and elevated HF (high vagal involvement) during rest. In addition, they showed cardiovascular (reduced increases in BP and HR) and sympathetic (lower reductions of PEP) hypo-reactivity to the task. Furthermore, a lower sympathetic reactivity in hypotensives was associated to a poorer task performance. Essential hypotension was characterized by a low sympathetic and high parasympathetic tone. In addition, a reduced sympathetic nervous system reactivity suggests the main role of the Neurovegetative system in mediating the relationship between blood pressure and cognitive performance in hypotensives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Cardiovascular
  • Hypotension
  • Low blood pressure
  • Neurovegetative system
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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