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In this report, a brief history of the Valsalva (Valsalva-Weber) maneuver is outlined, followed by an explanation on the use of this approach for the evaluation of cardiac autonomic function based on underlying heart rate changes. The most important methodological and interpretative aspects of the Valsalva-Weber maneuver are critically updated, and some guidelines are established for simple application of the maneuver in a teaching or research laboratory setting. These include the hemodynamic and cardiac autonomic mechanisms involved, technical aspects such as the intensity and duration of the expiratory straining, frequency of maneuver sessions, training and posture of the individuals tested, different time- and grade change-dependent indexes of heart interval variation, and clinical application of the maneuver
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