Evaluation of the Autonomic Nervous System Using the FAN® Device – Range of Normal and Examples of Abnormal



S Haegele-Link*, 1, D Claus2, S Dücker3, T Vogt3, F Birklein3
1 Department of Neurology, Kantonsspital St Gallen, Switzerland
2 Department of Neurology, Hospital of Darmstadt, Germany
3 Department of Neurology, University of Mainz, Germany


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© Haegele-Link et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Neurology, Kantonsspital St Gallen, Switzerland; E-mail: stefan.haegele-link@kssg.ch


Abstract

Different components of the autonomic nervous system may be affected by different disorders to varying degrees. The aim of this study is to report first experiences with a new device (FAN®, Schwarzer, Germany) which measures heart rate variability (HRV), sympathetic skin responses (SSR) and the pulse wave transit time (PTT). We examined 190 healthy volunteers (102 men, 88 women) and in 89 subjects (46 men, 43 women) PTT during VM was investigated. In a subset of 24 subjects PTT was compared to conventional blood pressure recording. Thereafter, normal data were compared to patients with polyneuropathy (PNP) and Parkinson syndromes. All parameters of HRV decreased with age. 6 parameters for HRV at rest, during deep respiration and the valsalva ratio were reclassified into three age categories: under 40 (n=96), 40 – 60 (n=71) and 60 or older (n=23). Applying the lower limits of normal (5%-tile) subjects did not have more than 2 of these 6 parameters in the pathological range PTT reduction during phase IV of the valsalva manoeuvre was greater than 7.7 ms (5%-tile) but not age dependent. Patients with PNP had reduced HRV and SSR, Parkinson patients had more frequently impaired blood pressure regulation according to PTT assessment. Our investigation shows that the FAN® might be useful for clinicians to detect autonomic disorders.