Heart Rate Variability Analysis Guided by Respiration in Major Depressive Disorder

Spyridon Kontaxis*, Michele Orini, Eduardo Gil, Mar Posadas De Miguel, Maria Luisa Bernal, Jordi Aguilo, Concepcion De La Camara, Pablo Laguna, Raquel Bailon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this study a Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis guided by respiration to evaluate different patterns of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in response to a cognitive stressor between Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and control (CT) subjects is presented. Cardiorespiratory Time Frequency Coherence (TFC) reveals the local coupling of HRV and respiration signal which is essential and usually not included in estimation of ANS measures derived by HRV. Parasympathetic activity of ANS is measured as the power at the frequencies where TFC between HRV and respiration is significant, whereas sympathetic dominance is measured as the normalized power in the low frequency band [0.04,0.15] Hz of HRV excluding the power of those frequencies related to respiration. Results showed significantly lower (p < 0.05) sympathetic dominance in MDD with respect to CT subjects during stress, suggesting that ANS reactivity as response to stress stimuli is lower in MDD patients. The study of ANS reactivity to a stressor may serve as a biomarker useful for the early diagnosis and monitoring of MDD patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputing in Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


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