Autonomic nervous system examinations

Eiichi Watanabe, Itsuo Kodama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of cardiovascular system. We reviewed the autonomic nervous system examinations. Time and frequency domain analyses in heart rate variability is obtained from short- and long-term ECG and have predictive values of prognosis in various conditions of heart disease. Baroreflex testing evaluates autonomic modulation of arterial pressure. Baroreflex sensitivity is expressed by the(arterial blood pressure)/(RR interval in ECG) slope in response to infusion of nitroglycerine or phenylephrine. Decrease in baroreflex sensitivity is superior to heart rate variability in identifying patients with poor prognosis in post myocardial infarction. 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) is an analogue of norepinephrine and hence cardiac 123I-MIBG imaging can visualize cardiac sympathetic nervous system. Defect area in the early phase(15 to 30 min after injection) indicates localization of ventricular denervation. MIBG uptake, measured as a heart to mediastinum activity ratio, had a high predictive vale for survival. Altered MIBG uptake may also play a significant role in the assessment of arrhythmogenic potential in patients with idiopathic ventricular fibrillation or congenital long QT syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1307
Number of pages9
JournalNippon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 07-2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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