Variability of R-R intervals and arterial blood pressure signals in chronically instrumented fetal lambs was analyzed by power spectral analysis based on an assumption of maximum entropy. There were four consistent components, very low (VL, 0.01-0.025 cycle/beat), low (L, 0.025-0.125 cycle/beat), middle (M, 0.125-0.2 cycle/beat), and high (H, 0.2-0.5 cycle/beat), in the normal heart rate variability and blood pressure spectra. Integrated peaks in the power spectrum were compared before and after the administration of sympathetic and parasympathetic blockades. beta-Sympathetic blockade reduced the spectral power in the VL and L frequency components. alpha-Sympathetic blockade reduced only the M frequency component in the spectrum of R-R interval variability. Parasympathetic blockade reduced the H and L frequency components in the R-R interval variability spectrum but increased these components in the systolic blood pressure variability spectrum. The results clearly demonstrate the association between fetal autonomic activity and change of power spectrum of heart rate and blood pressure variability.
- Copyright © 1996 the American Physiological Society