Pathophysiology of exercise heart rate recovery: A comprehensive analysis

Gordon L. Pierpont, Selcuk Adabag, Demetri Yannopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Expanded use of exercise heart rate recovery (HRR) has renewed interest in the pathophysiology of heart rate control. This study uses basic physiologic principles to construct a unique model capable of describing the full time course of sympathetic and parasympathetic activity during HRR. The model is tested in a new study of 22 diverse subjects undergoing both maximal and submaximal treadmill exercise. Based on this analysis, prolongation of HRR involves changes within the sinus node, changes in sympathetic function, in parasympathetic function, and in the central mechanisms regulating autonomic balance. The methods may provide unique insight into alterations in autonomic control in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • autonomic nervous system
  • exercise
  • exercise testing
  • heart rate recovery


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