Effects of caloric stimulation on respiratory frequency and heart rate and blood pressure variability

Kathrine Jauregui-Renaud, Kielan Yarrow, Ruth Oliver, Michael A. Gresty, Adolfo M. Bronstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure variability (BPV) and respiratory frequency were measured by power spectrum techniques in six normal humans (25-34 years old) and one labyrinthine-defective patient (33 years old) during cold (30°) vestibular caloric stimulation. Caloric stimuli were delivered intermittently for 2 min, under two different breathing conditions: (1) spontaneous breathing and (2) breathing paced with a metronome (0.25 Hz). During the spontaneous breathing condition, in the normal subjects, the caloric stimuli induced a significant increase in the absolute magnitude of the power spectrum density of the high frequency component (0.15-0.40 Hz) of HRV and the total bandwidth (0.04-0.4 Hz) of mean BPV. These responses were related to a shift in the weighted average of the respiration frequency on the respiration spectrum, from a median value of 0.27 Hz (range, 0.17-0.29 Hz) during baseline to 0.31 Hz (0.26-0.31 Hz) following caloric stimulation. This change was not observed in the labyrinthine-defective patient, who had weighted averages of 0.37 Hz and 0.34 Hz, respectively. No significant changes in the normalised units of the low frequency component (0.04-0.15 Hz) or the high frequency component (0.04-0.4 Hz) of HRV and BPV were observed. During the paced breathing condition, no consistent effect on HRV or BPV was evident. For both breathing conditions, the proportions of HRV and BPV power linearly independent from respiration did not show any caloric-induced change. This study shows that caloric vestibular stimulation produces changes in HRV and BPV by modifying the respiratory pattern. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Heart rate variability
  • Vestibular system


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of caloric stimulation on respiratory frequency and heart rate and blood pressure variability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this