Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

The physiological importance of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and cardioventilatory coupling (CVC) has not yet been fully elucidated, but these phenomena might contribute to improve ventilation/perfusion matching, with beneficial effects on gas exchange. Furthermore, decreased RSA amplitude has been suggested as an indicator of impaired autonomic control and poor clinical outcome, also during positive-pressure mechanical ventilation (MV). However, it is currently unknown how different modes of MV, including variable tidal volumes (V(T)), affect RSA and CVC during anesthesia. We compared the effects of pressure controlled (PCV) versus pressure assisted (PSV) ventilation, and of random variable versus constant V(T), on RSA and CVC in eight anesthetized pigs. At comparable depth of anesthesia, global hemodynamics, and ventilation, RSA amplitude increased from 20 ms in PCV to 50 ms in PSV (p < 0.05). CVC was detected (using proportional Shannon entropy of the interval between each inspiration onset and the previous R-peak in ECG) in two animals in PCV and seven animals in PSV. Variable V(T) did not significantly influence these phenomena. Furthermore, heart period and systolic arterial pressure oscillations were in phase during PCV but in counter-phase during PSV. At the same depth of anesthesia in pigs, PSV increases RSA amplitude and CVC compared to PCV. Our data suggest that the central respiratory drive, but not the baroreflex or the mechano-electric feedback in the heart, is the main mechanism behind the RSA increase. Hence, differences in RSA and CVC between mechanically ventilated patients might reflect the difference in ventilation mode rather than autonomic impairment. Also, since gas exchange did not increase from PCV to PSV, it is questionable whether RSA has any significance in improving ventilation/perfusion matching during MV.


Alessandro Beda, Andreas Güldner, David M Simpson, Nadja C Carvalho, Susanne Franke, Christopher Uhlig, Thea Koch, Paolo Pelosi, Marcelo Gama de Abreu. Effects of assisted and variable mechanical ventilation on cardiorespiratory interactions in anesthetized pigs. Physiological measurement. 2012 Mar;33(3):503-19

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 22373541

View Full Text