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Title Quantitative computer analysis of cardiac and respiratory activity in newborn infants
Author(s) P. A. Tarlo, I. Valimaki, and P. M. Rautaharju
Source Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 31, No. 1, Pages 70-75
Publication Date July 1971
Abstract In 21 healthy full-term neonates, 122 10-min recordings of ECG and CO2 respirograms were made during the first 5 days of life. Records were analyzed with a digital computer, using stochastic point process analysis techniques to characterize variations in heart and respiration rates. Mean heart rate was 114/min, and mean respiration rate 46/min. For heart rate, the root mean square (RMS) difference from mean (overall variation) was 40 msec, and interval-to-interval variation (RMS of successive differences) was 25 msec; the corresponding values for respiration rate were 598 msec and 770 msec, respectively. Periodic heart rate variation (periodicities in the range 1-2 sec or 10-29 sec) was found in 8 records from 7 infants. Random heart rate variation was usually Markoffian type, inter-interval dependence extending over at least 5 successive intervals. No significant periodic variation or interdependence of intervals was detected in respiration rate, which thus appears to have certain Gaussian random properties. Apneic periods of at least 5 seconds occurred 6.6/hour. The findings indicate a strong short-range control of cardiac rate but not of respiration.

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