Diagnostic importance of the method "Analysis Of Heart Rate Variability"

( 3 Votes ) 

The method of analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is one of the most popular in the world for the study of functional conditions and disorders of the human body related to stress. The history of method is connected to the success of the Soviet space medicine, therefore dates from the early 60-ies of the 20 century.

 Absolutely all of the organs and systems of the human body are under constant neurohumoral control. Close symbiosis between sympathetic (activating, mobilizing) and parasympathetic (taking body into inactivity mode, rest, recovery) divisions of the autonomic nervous system and humoral effects provides the best results in terms of adaptation to changing internal and external environment. Deviations arising in the regulatory systems precede the hemodynamic, metabolic, energy disorders and, therefore, are the earliest prognostic signs of human in distress. There are no reactions of the organism where does not participate circulatory system. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in Ukraine. The heart rate is an indicator of adverse deviations, and therefore the study of HRV has important prognostic and diagnostic value in a variety of disorders - from the psycho-emotional stress disorder to the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine pathology. HRV is widely used to assess the "quality of health" of a healthy person and to assess the level of fitness in athletes.

Particular importance the analysis of HRV has for pre-shift and current psychophysiological control of operatives, in the electric power industry, transportation, industry, that is, in all professions, where staff activity is related to the risk of their own lives and the lives of others. HRV decrease is significantly correlated with an increased probability of sudden death. Cardiac abnormalities are a cause of ischemia (lack of oxygen) in the brain, which leads to attention, thinking, memory disorders, general working capacity, dizziness, weakening of analyzer systems work (especially vision and hearing), in severe cases - loss of consciousness.

 Also, by using indexes of HRV you may assess the "price" of activity, including intellectual, identify the sub-optimal choice of profession or position.

An example of the interpretation of some of HRV:


Psychophysiological index value

VLF, VLF% (CW-II - power of slow waves of second order)

Hormonal support, activity of neurohumoral regulation of angiotensin, thermoregulatory, chemoreception systems, involving the essential resources of the body.
Standard - up to 30%.
Less than 700 ms2 - low hormone modulation of regulatory mechanisms.
700-1300 ms2 - moderate hormonal modulation of regulatory mechanisms.
More than 1300 ms2 - high level of hormonal modulation of regulatory mechanisms.

LF, LF% (CW-I - Power of slow waves of the first order)

The influence of the sympathetic-adrenal system in the heart.
Norms 754-1586 ms2;
Under 300 ms2-low catalytic potential.
300-700 ms2- moderate catalytic potential.
More than 700 ms2- high catalytic potential.

HF, HF% (RW - power of respiratory waves)

Parasympathetic activity of the autonomic nervous system.
Standards: 772-1178 ms2;
Under 300 ms2- low reduction potential.
300-700 ms2- moderate reduction potential.
More than 700 ms2- high reduction potential.


The balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic effects, tensions.
Normal: 1.5-2.0

TP - totalpower (TSP - total spectrum power)

General adaptive reserves. With decreasing - an indicator of involving functional reserves under the influence of the central regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary level, with an increase - lower activation (autonomic) control levels.

Norms 1500-4500 ms2:

<300 - depleted resources (expressed asthenoneurotic condition requiring immediate restoration of the "life force", the choice of the optimal regime of work and rest, the compensation of the flow of somatic diseases)

300-700 ms2- resources greatly reduced (asthenia, a condition accompanied by a reduction of the creative potential of the individual and the ability to work, the time and resources needed for recovery, significantly increasing, characterized hypoergic response options)

700-1500 ms2- reduced resources (the tendency to fatigue and reduced work capacity)

1500-3000 ms2- within the conventional rules (optimal functioning),

3000-4000 ms2- raised (a good level of fitness, provisioning adaptation)

4000-6000 ms2- significantly increased (over-state response – hypoergic, requiring the restoration of the balance of energy consumption)

more than 6000 ms2- redundant (significant imbalance flow of vitality and of vegetative dysfunction).


SI – stress index (IT - code tension of regulator systems)

Reflects the degree of centralization of control of heart rhythm (psycho-emotional stress, the level of physiological stress).

Norm 30-120; 120-250 – compensated distress; 250-400 – distress can lead to various functional disorders; 400-800  – can expect damaging effects of stress-implementing systems on the organs, above all - heart.


The method is carried out in the Laboratory of Psychodiagnostics using the device "BOS-Pulse" within 5 minutes: a person is sitting comfortably in a chair with a sensor on the hand and listening to music. In addition to direct diagnostic value, it is an effective method to assess the impact of any kind of psychotherapy, which takes place before and after the course of ongoing correction, training work and other.