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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.243 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v35.i3-4.10
pages 183-195

Bioengineering Assessment of Acupuncture, Part 7: Heart Rate Variability

Gerhard Litscher
TCM Research Center Graz and Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria

ABSTRACT

In the seventh part of this review article, preliminary research on the topic of acupuncture and heart rate variability is described. Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate. Under resting conditions, the electrocardiograms of healthy people exhibit periodic variations in the percentage change in sequential chamber complexes (RR-intervals). The parameter HRV is modulated by the blood-pressure control-system, influences from the hypothalamus, and, in particular, the vagal cardiovascular center in the lower brainstem. This review article contains a short summary of scientific literature on HRV and acupuncture.