University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Interaction between Heart Rate Variability and Respiration in Preterm Infants

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Cardiology | Circulatory and Respiratory Physiology | Neurology | Pediatrics | Respiratory System


Several studies have focused attention on cardio-respiratory function as an important indicator of development in infants. In the preterm infant, however, it remains unclear whether respiratory activity already affects heart beat variations at such an early development stage. In this work we investigate the presence of cardio-respiratory coupling in preterm infants by quantifying the interaction between heart rate variability and respiration using multivariate autoregressive analysis. We evaluated the frequency domain indices using standard methods. Results show a significantly higher coupling, as confirmed by surrogate data analysis, in the frequency range associated with regular breathing compared to other ranges. These observations indicate a mild, but present, respiratory sinus arrhythmia in preterm infants.


Heart rate variability, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Frequency domain analysis, Hafnium, Data analysis, Anesthesia, Hospitals, Nervous system, Heart beat

DOI of Published Version



Indic P, Salisbury E, Paydarfar D, Brown E, Barbieri R. Interaction between Heart Rate Variability and Respiration in Preterm Infants. Comput Cardiol. 2008 Sep;35:57-60. doi: 10.1109/CIC.2008.4748976. PMID: 20333264; PMCID: PMC2843516. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Computers in cardiology

PubMed ID