Autonomic nervous system assessment in people with HIV: A cross-sectional study [version 1; peer review: 1 not approved]




Rosario, Martin
Gonzalez-Sola, Maryvi

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Background: People diagnosed with HIV may exhibit orthostatic hypotension (OH) as a result of the infection and of secondary effects of medications. Such impairments are attributed to autonomic nervous system (ANS) deficits. The purpose of this study was to assess OH during a balance sensory condition test (SCT) and evaluate the role of the cardiac autonomic system, regarding blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), during this balancing task. We hypothesized that BP and heart rate would rise with an increase in postural instability, thus revealing OH.

Methods: Eight individuals diagnosed with HIV were recruited from a community health center in the area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. BP and HR were measured after 5 minutes of sitting, immediately after standing up and 1 minute after this, during the SCT. A t-test was used to assess the difference between BP in sitting, BP in standing, and BP while performing the SCT. HR was also evaluated the same way.

Results: There was an increase of more than 10 mmHg in systolic BP (SBP) from sitting compared to standing while performing the SCT (p≤0.01). Likewise, HR and SBP standing versus standing during the SCT increased significantly (p≤0.01).

Conclusion: The results of this study show that the ANS may be impaired in people with HIV.


Texas Woman's University Libraries Open Access Fund


HIV, Orthostatic hypotension, ANS impairments, Blood pressure, Postural instability, Heart rate


This is the publisher’s version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Rosario, M., & Gonzalez-Sola, M. (2018). Autonomic nervous system assessment in people with HIV: A cross-sectional study [version 1; peer review: 1 not approved]. F1000Research, 7, 696. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.