Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Abhijit Patwardhan


To track evolution of autonomic responses during orthostasis in men and women, we used discrete pseudo-Wigner distribution based time-frequency analysis to compute dominant frequencies and spectral powers in RR intervals and Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP). Data were collected from 38 healthy volunteers (22 men, 16 women) during 10 min supine posture followed by 30 min of 700 head up tilt. The RR intervals were computed from ECG and systolic blood pressure was and spectral amplitudes of RR intervals were integrated in two regions viz., Low Frequency (LF) region defined between 0.05-0.15 Hz and High Frequency region (HF), sometimes referred to as respiratory frequency region, defined as mean breathing frequency of the individual +/- one standard deviation. Dominant frequencies of RR intervals in the LF region decreased in both men and women. There were no significant differences between men and women as far as the SBP data were concerned for the dominant frequencies, however women had higher values than men. Dominant frequencies of RR intervals in the HF region increased both in men and women from supine to tilt. No significant differences in dominant frequencies were found between men and women. Also there were no significant differences even for the SBP data, however men had higher values than women Integrated powers within the auto spectra of RR showed that in the HF region, power decreased significantly for both men (pandlt;0.005), and women (pandlt;0.001) during tilt compared to supine. However, the HF power in women was significantly higher for men during both supine (pandlt;0.001), and tilt (pandlt;0.005). In LF region integrated power spectrum showed no significant difference between men and women although women showed a slight increase from supine to tilt. These results suggest that men have a higher sympathetic control while women have greater para-sympathetic influence.