Investigation of Heart Rate Variability in Patients under Local Anaesthesia

K. Shafqat, P.A. Kyriacou, S.K. Pal, and S. Kumari (UK)


Heart rate variability, Spectral analysis, Local anaesthesia


Spectral analysis of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is widely used for the assessment of cardiovascular autonomic control. Several studies have shown the effect of anaesthetic agents on HRV parameters. In this study a systematic approach of HRV analysis has been employed. The effect caused by the ectopic beats on the spectral measurements has been investigated and results are presented. A detrending method using Wavelet Packets has been developed which was able to remove slow varying trend from HRV signals without causing significant changes in the low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) component of the HRV signal. Using this methodology Electrocardiogram (ECG) signals from 14 patients undergoing local anaesthesia (brachial plexus block) were analysed with non-parametric (Welch’s periodogram) method. The results show that the HF LF ratio values calculated from the HRV signal decreases within an hour of the application of the brachial plexus block compared to the values at the start of the procedure. This change was noticed in approximately 80% of the patients.

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