Auto- and cross-spectral analysis of cardiovascular fluctuations during pentobarbital anesthesia in the rat

Cheryl C.H. Yang, Terry B.J. Kuo, Samuel H.H. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


We applied auto- and cross-spectral analysis of systemic arterial pressure (SAP) and heart rate (HR) signals to quantify the effects of pentobarbital sodium on short-term cardiovascular fluctuations in adult, male Sprague- Dawley rats. Intravenous administration of pentobarbital, delivered as a bolus injection (5, 10, or 20 mg/kg) or continuous infusion (10, 20, or 40 mg · kg-1 · h-1), elicited only mild hypotension and tachycardia. This was accompanied by a dose-related depression of the very low (0-0.25 Hz) and low (0.25-0.8 Hz)-frequency components of both SAP and HR signals and high (0.8- 2.4 Hz)-frequency component of HR signals. Cross-spectral analysis of SAP and HR signals during intravenous infusion of pentobarbital revealed a maintained coherence in the high-frequency range, together with a gradual and dose- related decrease in magnitude of transfer function and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity. Stable plasma concentration and all hemodynamic parameters were observed during 120 min of infusion at 20 mg · kg-1 · h-1. Under this dosing condition, autonomic blockade by phentolamine, propranolol, or atropine still evoked discernible but differential reductions in the SAP and HR spectral components. Our data suggest that continuous intravenous administration of pentobarbital at 20 mg · kg-1 · h-1 offers maintained anesthesia while preserving the capacity of cardiovascular regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H575-H582
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2 39-2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • baroreceptor reflex
  • coherence
  • heart rate
  • plasma concentration
  • systemic arterial pressure
  • transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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