Occipitoatlantal decompression and noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation slow conduction velocity through the atrioventricular node in healthy participants

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19 April 2021

Occipitoatlantal decompression and noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation slow conduction velocity through the atrioventricular node in healthy participants

Management of atrial fibrillation includes either rhythm control that aims at establishing a sinus rhythm or rate control that aims at lowering the ventricular rate, usually with atrioventricular nodal blocking agents. Another potential strategy for ventricular rate control is to induce a negative dromotropic effect by augmenting cardiac vagal activity, which might be possible through noninvasive and nonpharmacologic techniques. Thus, the hypothesis of this study was that occipitoatlantal decompression (OA-D) and transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) not only increase cardiac parasympathetic tone as assessed by heart rate variability (HRV), but also slow atrioventricular conduction, assessed by the PQ-interval of the electrocardiogram (EKG) in generally healthy study participants without atrial fibrillation. The objectives of this study ware to test whether OA-D and/or transcutaneous taVNS, which have been demonstrated to increase cardiac parasympathetic nervous system activity, would also elicit a negative dromotropic effect and prolong atrioventricular conduction … MORE

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