European Study Group on Cardiovascular Oscillations


The European Study Group on Cardiovascular Oscillations (ESGCO) was created during a two-day educational training course of the European Society of Cardiology titled “New methods to analyze and cross-analyze heart rate and blood pressure Variability” held in the European Heart House, Sophia Antipolis, France, in 1998 by Alberto Malliani, Tudor Griffith, Pontus Persson and Bernard Swynghedauw.

Bernard Swynghedauw was at that time a board member of the European Society of Cardiology in charge of organizing courses in the European Heart House and changed Alberto Malliani, Tudor Griffith, Pontus Persson and Solange Akselrod to have two-hour talk each on spontaneous fluctuations of heart rate, arterial blood pressure and vasomotion with a special focus on nonlinear dynamics, chaos theory and nonstationarities. During the social dinner they recognized that cardiovascular oscillations cannot be dismissed simply a side effect of the action of the regulatory mechanisms but contain intrinsically useful information about cardiovascular control and autonomic nervous system that otherwise remain virtually immeasurable and decide to create the ESGCO.

The aim of the ESGCO is to foster interdisciplinary discussions among physicists, mathematicians, bioengineers, computer scientists, physiologists, biologists, physicians and clinicians about physiological states and transitions, regulatory mechanisms and clinical implications of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular oscillations in all their forms.

The scope of the ESGCO reflects the multidisciplinary background of the founders. Indeed, Alberto Malliani was a neuroscientist and professor of internal medicine, Tudor Griffith was theoretical physicist and physician specialized in radiology, Pontus Persson is the physiologist who introduced deterministic chaos in cardiovascular physiology, and Bernard Swynghedauw is the molecular biologist who introduced molecular biology in cardiology.

It was decided that the ESGCO meeting takes place every two years and the ESGCO board is to be composed by the organizers of the meetings in addition to the founders. Since 1998 the ESGCO meetings took place in Cardiff, Wales, 2000; in Siena, Italy, 2002; in Leuven, Belgium, 2004; in Jena, Germany, 2006; in Parma, Italy, 2008; in Berlin, Germany, 2010; Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, 2012; Fai della Paganella, Trento, Italy, 2014; in Lancaster, UK, 2016; in Vienna, Austria, 2018.

The next ESGCO meeting will be in Pisa, Italy, 2020.