Author + information
- Received October 6, 1994
- Revision received March 22, 1995
- Accepted March 28, 1995
- Published online August 1, 1995.
- Lü Fei, MB1,
- Alistair K. Slade, MB,
- Krishna Prasad, MD,
- Marek Malik, PhD, MD, FACC,
- William J. McKenna, MD, FACC and
- A.John Camm, MD, FACC
- ↵1Address for correspondence: Dr. Lü Fei, Department of Cardiological Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, England, United Kingdom
Objectives. This study aimed to assess autonomic nervous system activity in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Background. Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are traditionally thought to have increased sympathetic activity. However, convincing evidence is lacking.
Methods. Heart rate variability was assessed from 24-h ambulatory electrocardiographic (Holter) recordings in 31 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and 31 age- and gender-matched normal control subjects in a drug-free state. Spectral heart rate variability was calculated as total (0.01 to 1.00 Hz), low (0.04 to 0.15 Hz) and high (0.15 to 0.40 Hz) frequency components using fast Fourier transformation analysis.
Results. There was a nonsignificant decrease in the total frequency component of heart rate variability in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy compared with that of normal subjects (mean ± SD 7.24 ± 0.88 versus 7.59 ± 0.57 ln[ms2], p = 0.072). Although there was no significant difference in the high frequency component (5.31 ± 1.14 versus 5.40 ± 0.91 ln[ms2], p = 0.730), the low frequency component was significantly lower in patients than in normal subjects (6.25 ± 1.00 versus 6.72 ± 0.61 ln[ms2], p = 0.026). After normalization (i.e., division by the total frequency component values), the low frequency component was significantly decreased (38 ± 8% versus 43 ± 8%, p = 0.018) and the high frequency component significantly increased (16 ± 6% versus 12 = 6%, p = 0.030) in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The low/high frequency component ratio was significantly lower in these patients (0.94 ± 0.64 versus 1.33 ± 0.55, p = 0.013). In patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart rate variability was significantly related to left ventricular end-systolic dimension and left atrial dimension but not to maximal left ventricular wall thickness. No significant difference in heart rate variability was found between 14 victims of sudden cardiac death and 10 age- and gender-matched low risk patients.
Conclusions. Our observations suggest that during normal daily activities, patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy experience a significant autonomic alteration with decreased sympathetic tone.
- Received October 6, 1994.
- Revision received March 22, 1995.
- Accepted March 28, 1995.