A respiratory marker derived from left vagus nerve signals recorded with implantable cuff electrodes

Cristian Sevcencu, Thomas Nørgaard Nielsen, Benedict Kjærgaard, Johannes J. Struijk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Left vagus nerve (LVN) stimulation (LVNS) has been tested for lowering the blood pressure (BP) in patients with resistant hypertension (RH). Whereas, closed-loop LVNS (CL-LVNS) driven by a BP marker may be superior to open-loop LVNS, there are situations (e.g., exercising) when hypertension is normal. Therefore, an ideal anti-RH CL-LVNS system requires a variable to avoid stimulation in such conditions, for example, a respiratory marker ideally extracted from the LVN. As the LVN conducts respiratory signals, this study aimed to investigate if such signals can be recorded using implantable means and if a marker to monitor respiration could be derived from such recordings.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The experiments were performed in 14 anesthetized pigs. Five pigs were subjected to changes of the respiratory frequency and nine to changes of the respiratory volume. The LVN electroneurogram (VENG) was recorded using two cuff electrodes and the respiratory cycles (RC) using a pressure transducer. To separate the afferent and efferent VENGs, vagotomy was performed between the cuffs in the first group of pigs. The VENG was squared to derive respiration-related neural profiles (RnPs) and their correlation with the RCs was investigated in regard to timing and magnitude parameters derived from the two waveforms.

RESULTS: The RnPs were morphologically similar with the RCs and the average RnPs represented accurate copies of the average RCs. Consequently, the lung inflation/deflation RC and RnP components had the same duration, the respiratory frequency changes affected in the same way both waveforms and the RnP amplitude increased linearly with the lung inflation in all tested pigs (R(2) values between 0.85 and 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: The RnPs comprise information regarding the timing and magnitude of the respiratory parameters. As those LVN profiles were derived using implantable means, this study indicates that the RnPs could serve as respiratory markers in implantable systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Hypertension
  • implantable
  • neural waveforms
  • respiratory marker
  • vagus nerve


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