Diminished vasomotor component of systemic arterial pressure signals and baroreflex in brain death

Terry B.J. Kuo, Huey Wen Yien, Shu Shya Hseu, Cheryl C.H. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the cardiovascular autonomie regulatory mechanisms between patients with brain death or under a persistent vegetative state and healthy volunteers, based on auto- and cross-spectral analysis of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and interpulse interval (PPI) signals. Braindead patients exhibited a significant reduction in the absolute and relative power of the low-frequency (LF; 0.04-0.15 Hz) component in both SBP and PPI spectra, along with appreciable decrease in the very low frequency (VLF; 0.004-0.04 Hz), LF, and high-frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz) power of the PPI signals. Patients in a persistent vegetative state exhibited a power of the VLF and LF component in the SBP spectrum that was comparable to that in healthy subjects, although a discernible reduction in the VLF, LF, and HF power of the PPI spectrum was manifested by the former group. Assessments with the magnitude of SBP-PPI transfer function and linear regression analysis of beat-to-beat fluctuations in SBP and PPI revealed a progressive decline in spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity from healthy subjects to patients in a persistent vegetative state or with brain death. We conclude that the vasomotor component of systemic arterial pressure signals and spontaneous baroreflex are highly correlated with the functional integrity of the brain stem. Copyright o 1997 the American Physiological Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1291-H1298
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Coherence
  • Healthy volunteers
  • Interpulse interval
  • Persistent vegetative state
  • Systolic blood pressure
  • Transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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