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Heart rate variability in bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder: a clinical review
  1. Oliver Carr1,
  2. Maarten de Vos1,
  3. Kate E A Saunders2,3
  1. 1Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
  3. 3Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate E A Saunders, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK; kate.saunders{at}


Heart rate variability (HRV) in psychiatric disorders has become an increasing area of interest in recent years following technological advances that enable non-invasive monitoring of autonomic nervous system regulation. However, the clinical interpretation of HRV features remain widely debated or unknown. Standardisation within studies of HRV in psychiatric disorders is poor, making it difficult to reproduce or build on previous work. Recently, a Guidelines for Reporting Articles on Psychiatry and Heart rate variability checklist has been proposed to address this issue. Here we assess studies of HRV in bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder against this checklist and discuss the implication for ongoing research in this area.

  • cardiology
  • pacing & electrophysiology
  • psychiatry
  • depression & mood disorders
  • personality disorders

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  • Funding Wellcome Trust: 098461/Z/12/Z (Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Neuroscience Institute); 102616/Z (Collaborative Network for Bipolar Research to Improve Outcomes).

  • Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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