Rhythms, rhymes, and reasons - Spectral oscillations in neural cardiovascular control

Valentina Accurso, Abu S.M. Shamsuzzaman, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular neural regulation is an integrated response to a continuous interaction of inhibitory and excitatory stimuli. Neural control of the circulation appears to be coded simultaneously in different modalities as amplitude (strength of signal or tonic activity) and frequency (oscillatory or phasic activity). Changes in tonic activity appear to be accompanied by tightly linked modulations in oscillatory characteristics. This is true within a narrow range of physiologic conditions, and the relationship is eliminated in extreme cardiovascular pathophysiology. Nevertheless, the oscillatory patterns in cardiovascular neural control appear tro be widespread so that low and high frequency oscillatory patterns are evident even in sympathetic traffic to skin (Coagliati et al., 2000). Thus, it is likely that there is a functional significance to these oscillations. Recent data from Nafz et al. (1999) suggest that the presence of LF oscillatory characteristics in renal perfusion may attenuate renin-angiotensin activation during renal hypotension. These findings may have direct relevance to poorer outcomes observed in heart failure patients in whom an absence of LF oscillatory power was observed in RR interval and sympathetic traffic (Van de Borne et al., 1997a).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 20 2001


  • Autonomic
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Sympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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