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Quantification of compensatory processes of postnatal hypoxia in newborn piglets applying short-term nonlinear dynamics analysis

Author(s): Schulz Steffen | Reulecke Sina | Eiselt Michael | Schwab Karin | Witte Herbert | Walter Bernd | Bauer Reinhard | Voss Andreas

Journal: BioMedical Engineering OnLine
ISSN 1475-925X

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 88;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Newborn mammals suffering from moderate hypoxia during or after birth are able to compensate a transitory lack of oxygen by adapting their vital functions. Exposure to hypoxia leads to an increase in the sympathetic tone causing cardio-respiratory response, peripheral vasoconstriction and vasodilatation in privileged organs like the heart and brain. However, there is only limited information available about the time and intensity changes of the underlying complex processes controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Methods In this study an animal model involving seven piglets was used to examine an induced state of circulatory redistribution caused by moderate oxygen deficit. In addition to the main focus on the complex dynamics occurring during sustained normocapnic hypoxia, the development of autonomic regulation after induced reoxygenation had been analysed. For this purpose, we first introduced a new algorithm to prove stationary conditions in short-term time series. Then we investigated a multitude of indices from heart rate and blood pressure variability and from bivariate interactions, also analysing respiration signals, to quantify the complexity of vegetative oscillations influenced by hypoxia. Results The results demonstrated that normocapnic hypoxia causes an initial increase in cardiovascular complexity and variability, which decreases during moderate hypoxia lasting one hour (p < 0.004). After reoxygenation, cardiovascular complexity parameters returned to pre-hypoxic values (p < 0.003), however not respiratory-related complexity parameters. Conclusions In conclusion, indices from linear and nonlinear dynamics reflect considerable temporal changes of complexity in autonomous cardio-respiratory regulation due to normocapnic hypoxia shortly after birth. These findings might be suitable for non-invasive clinical monitoring of hypoxia-induced changes of autonomic regulation in newborn humans.

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