Modulatory Effects of Vagal Nerve Stimulation on Hypertension.

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Modulatory Effects of Respiratory-Gated Auricular Vagal Nerve Stimulation on Cardiovagal Activity in Hypertension.

Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine potential effects of Respiratory-gated Auricular Vagal Afferent Nerve Stimulation (RAVANS) on cardiac autonomic activity in hypertensive patients.20 hypertensive subjects (57.3±6.2 years; 11 females, 9 males) were randomized to receive either active RAVANS at 25 Hz or sham stimulation for 5 consecutive days and were assessed 5 and 10 days later. Continuous electrocardiogram, pulse rate, and blood pressure signals were collected during 10-minute baseline, 30-minute stimulation, and 10-minute recovery periods for each session. LabChart was used to acquire and process heart rate variability and blood pressure indices. Percent changes of mean values during the recovery period were calculated comparing the final stimulation session and follow-up sessions to the first stimulation session. General linear models were applied to assess the effects of RAVANS on the variables evaluated, considering baseline values and sex as covariates in the models.We found that RAVANS increased high frequency (HF-HRV) power during recovery of the final stimulation session and both follow-up sessions in comparison to sham. RAVANS also lowered heart rate and increased average RR and root mean square of successive RR interval differences (RMSSD) during recovery on the final day of stimulation. No significant effects on blood pressure values were observed during these periods.These results suggest that RAVANS effectively stimulates cardiovagal activity in hypertension, with effects lasting up to 10 days. Future research incorporating larger sample sizes is needed to replicate the effects of RAVANS.Clinical Relevance- This research has implications for potential therapeutic effects of respiratory-gated tVNS on cardiovagal modulation in hypertensive patients.

PMID: 33018534 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 07;2020:2581-2584

Authors: Staley R, Garcia RG, Stowell J, Sclocco R, Fisher H, Napadow V, Goldstein JM, Barbieri R

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