Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Charles F. Knapp

Second Advisor

Dr. David Randall


Cardiovascular control in the human is significantly impaired after spinal cord injury(SCI) having a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) causing an inability toregulate vasoconstriction below the level of the lesion. The effects of SCI on the two majorcomponents of blood pressure regulation, control of plasma volume and neural control of theheart and peripheral vasculature are poorly understood. In particular, no index to diagnosedisorders to autonomic control of the heart and vasculature has been developed. The presentstudy primarily utilized noninvasively acquired, easily accessible variables that may havepromise as indicators of autonomic activity for assessing the level of autonomic injury andrecovery of visceral control following SCI. The most significant results and the clearestdifferences between the three groups (able-bodied, paraplegic and tetraplegic) were evident inspectral analysis obtained in the frequency domain: Arterial blood pressure and lower body (at aregion on the shin) skin perfusion spectral power in the low frequency (LF) region are ofsignificance. These variables could be good discriminators of the three groups, as well as showlevel of SCI and autonomic function.

02CHapB.xls (49 kB)