Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Comparison of changes in heart rate variability and sacral skin perfusion in response to postural changes in people with spinal cord injury

Yih-Kuen Jan, PT, PhD, et al.

Figure 3. Comparison of low frequency (LF) to high frequency (HF) ratio between upright and prone postures in nondisabled controls and people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Nondisabled controls have significantly higher ratio in upright posture as compared with prone posture (p < 0.05). LF to HF ratio does not show significant change between upright posture and prone posture in people with SCI.

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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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Jan YK, Anderson M, Soltani J, Burns S, Foreman RD. Comparison of changes in heart rate variability and sacral skin perfusion in response to postural changes in people with spinal cord injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(2): 203–14.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.08.0138

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:31 AM

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