The interaction between a low-dose cholinesterase inhibitor, pyridostigmine (PYR), and atropine was investigated by spectral analysis of heart rate fluctuations in eight healthy humans. Each subject was given increasing boluses of IV atropine during treatment with PYR (30 mg·3/day) or placebo. PYR attenuated the bimodal dose-dependent changes in the respiratory peak (which represents the parasympathetic control) in response to atropine. We suggest that spectral analysis can be used for quantifying the complex dose-dependent cholinergic agonist-antagonist interactions, and may help to disclose an asymptomatic low-dose intoxication with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
- Spectral analysis of heart rate