External Counterpulsation Increases Beat-to-Beat Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Ischemic Stroke

L. Xiong, G. Tian, L. Wang, W. Lin, Xiangyan Chen, T.W.H. Leung, Y.O.Y. Soo, L.K.S. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 National Stroke AssociationBackground and Purpose External counterpulsation (ECP) is a noninvasive method used to augment cerebral perfusion in ischemic stroke. However, the response of beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV) in patients with ischemic stroke during ECP remains unknown. Methods Forty-eight patients with unilateral ischemic stroke at the subacute stage and 14 healthy controls were recruited. Beat-to-beat heart rate before, during, and after ECP was monitored. The frequency components of HRV were calculated using power spectral analysis. Very low frequency (VLF; <.04 Hz), low frequency (LF;.04-.15 Hz), high frequency (HF;.15-.40 Hz), total power spectral density (TP; <.40 Hz), and LF/HF ratio were calculated. Results In stroke patients, although there were no statistical differences in all of the HRV components, the HRV at VLF showed a trend of increase during ECP compared with baseline in the left-sided stroke patients (P =.083). After ECP, the HRV at LF and TP remained higher than baseline in the right-sided stroke patients (LF, 209.4 versus 117.9, P =.050; TP, 1275.6 versus 390.2, P =.017, respectively). Besides, the HRV at TP also increased after ECP compared with baseline in the left-sided stroke patients (563.0 versus 298.3, P =.029). Conclusions Irrespective of the side of the ischemia, patients showed an increased beat-to-beat HRV after ECP. Additionally, sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac modulations were increased after ECP in patients after right-sided subacute stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1487-1492
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • External counterpulsation
  • heart rate variability
  • infarct location
  • ischemic stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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