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Title Continuous Monitoring of Heart Rate Variability in Preterm Infants
Author(s) V. Prietsch; U. Knoepke; M. Obladen
Source Early Human Development, Vol. 37, No. 2, Pages 117-131
Publication Date May, 1994
Abstract A method for continuous monitoring and recording of neonatal heart rate variability (HRV) and further physiological parameters in the intensive care unit is presented: 16 neonatal monitors were connected via two input/output processor boards to a personal computer. Patient data were processed by special software. Every day a 24-h record was printed for each infant, including a continuous registration of long-term (LTV) and short-term variability (STV) of heart rate along with baseline heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature, temperature of the incubator and transcutaneous partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide (tcPO2 and tcPCO2). For each parameter automatic artefact removal was implemented. Median and percentiles were computed once daily from all valid values. The influence of gestational and postnatal age and of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) on HRV was studied in 105 preterm infants below 33 weeks of gestation during the first 7 days of life. An increase of both LTV and STV was seen with increasing gestational and postnatal age. In infants with RDS a decreased LTV was found in relation to the severity of the disease. HRV was also decreased in impaired brain function due to intraventricular hemorrhage, asphyxia or sedative treatment.


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