Wavelet analysis of instantaneous heart rate: A study of autonomic control during thrombolysis

Eran Toledo, Osnat Gurevitz, Hanoch Hod, Michael Eldar, Solange Akselrod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Myocardial infarction (MI) is known to elicit activation of the autonomic nervous system. Reperfusion, induced by thrombolysis, is thus expected to bring about a shift in the balance between the sympathetic and vagal systems, according to the infarct location. In this study, we explored the correlation between reperfusion and the spectral components of heart rate (HR) variability (HRV), which are associated with autonomic cardiac control. We analyzed the HR of patients during thrombolysis: nine anterior wall MI (AW-MI) and eight inferoposterior wall MI (IW-MI). Reperfusion was determined from changes in ST levels and reported pain. Reocclusion was detected in four patients. HRV was analyzed using a modified continuous wavelet transform, which provided time-dependent versions of the typically used low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) peaks and of their ratio, LF/HF. Marked alterations in at least one of the HRV parameters was found in all 18 reperfusion events. Patterns of HRV, compatible with a shift toward relative sympathetic enhancement, were found in all of the nine reperfusion events in IW-MI patients and in three AW-MI patients. Patterns of HRV compatible with relative vagal enhancement were found in six AW-MI patients (P < 0.001). Significant changes in HRV parameters were also found after reocclusion. Time-dependent spectral analysis of HRV using the wavelet transform was found to be valuable for explaining the patterns of cardiac rate control during reperfusion. In addition, examination of the entire record revealed epochs of markedly diminished HRV in two patients, which we attribute to vagal saturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1079-R1091
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 53-4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart rate variability
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Spectral analysis
  • Wavelet transform


Dive into the research topics of 'Wavelet analysis of instantaneous heart rate: A study of autonomic control during thrombolysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this