Impaired heart rate variability in euthymic bipolar patients

Hagit Cohen*, Zeev Kaplan, Moshe Kotler, Irena Mittelman, Yamima Osher, Yuly Bersudsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Background: Power spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) has recently been shown to be a reliable non-invasive test for quantitative assessment of the central sympathovagal interaction that modulates cardiovascular autonomic function. Methods: We studied 39 euthymic bipolar patients and 39 controls, matched for age and sex. A high-resolution electrocardiogram was obtained during complete rest. Spectral analysis of R-R intervals was performed by the fast Fourier transform algorithm. Results: Euthymic bipolar patients at rest are characterized by markedly low HRV, independent of specific drug treatments. Conclusion: While these results of autonomic stability in euthymic bipolar patients are counter-intuitive, the findings may be important in understanding pathophysiology of bipolar affective illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalBipolar Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Euthymic
  • Heart rate variability
  • Vagal tone


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