Autonomic alterations in cocaine-exposed neonates following orthostatic stress

Vijay John, Hongying Dai, Ajay Talati, Richard J. Charnigo, Michael Neuman, Henrietta S. Bada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in the presence of orthostatic stress among near- and full-term neonates. PCE infants (n = 21) and controls (n = 23) were enrolled within 120 h of birth. ECG was recorded for an hour during quiet sleep, 30 min in supine position and then 30 min in an inclined position. Linear mixed models were used to analyze HR and HRV in the time domain and wavelet and power spectrum analyses in the frequency domain. PCE infants had tachycardia both before (p = 0.091) and after tilting (p = 0.015), but with a clear interaction between PCE and orthostatic stress (p = 0.049). Compared with controls, PCE infants had a delayed and prolonged reaction to orthostatic stress. There was also a pronounced interaction with regard to log-transformed SDDRR, a measure of HRV (p = 0.049). Controls experienced an instantaneous increase in log (SDDRR) followed by a prompt return to normal levels, while PCE infants had a gradual increase that did not dissipate quickly. Frequency-domain analyses also distinguished between the cocaine-exposed infants and the controls. Results suggest that the effects of PCE on the development of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems could lead to altered cardiovascular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomic alterations in cocaine-exposed neonates following orthostatic stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this