The current clinical practice has established guidelines for assessing influences of severity of autonomic injury on the control of heart and blood pressure following spinal cord injury (SCI). However, the influences of SCI-induced autonomic impairment on microvascular dysfunction have not yet been established. Heart rate variability (HRV) has shown a potential for quantifying residual sympathovagal regulations over the cardiovascular system following SCI and may be used to assess the effect of autonomic injury on skin microvascular dysfunction. Our results showed nondisabled people had a significant change in the sympathovagal balance in response to postural changes, while people with SCI did not, and lower sympathovagal balance was associated with higher skin perfusion. Our findings support the use of HRV to assess the influences of sympathovagal balance on microvascular dysfunction following SCI.
Volume 50 Number 2, 2013
Pages 203 — 214
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:31 AM