UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Relationship between Ischemic Stroke and Pulse Rate Variability as a Surrogate of Heart Rate Variability Verma, Ajay K.; Aarotale, Parshuram N.; Dehkordi, Parastoo; Lou, Jau-Shin; Tavakolian, Kouhyar


Autonomic reflex ascertains cardiovascular homeostasis during standing. Impaired autonomic reflex could lead to dizziness and falls while standing; this is prevalent in stroke survivors. Pulse rate variability (PRV) has been utilized in the literature in lieu of heart rate variability (HRV) for ambulatory and portable monitoring of autonomic reflex predominantly in young, healthy individuals. Here, we compared the PRV with gold standard HRV for monitoring autonomic reflex in ischemic stroke survivors. Continuous blood pressure and electrocardiography were acquired from ischemic stroke survivors (64 ± 1 years) and age-matched controls (65 ± 2 years) during a 10-minute sit-to-stand test. Beat-by-beat heart period (represented by RR and peak-to-peak (PP) intervals), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and pulse arrival time (PAT), an indicator of arterial stiffness, were derived. Time and frequency domain HRV (from RR intervals) and PRV (from PP intervals) metrics were extracted. PAT was lower (248 ± 7 ms vs. 270 ± 8 ms, p < 0.05) suggesting higher arterial stiffness in stroke survivors compared to controls during standing. Further, compared to controls, the agreement between HRV and PRV was impaired in stroke survivors while standing. The study outcomes suggest that caution should be exercised when considering PRV as a surrogate of HRV for monitoring autonomic cardiovascular control while standing in stroke survivors.

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