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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2007 December;55(6):703-10


language: English

Effect of primary coronary intervention on heart rate variability and left ventricular function in patients with acute myocardial infarction

Santangeli P., Lamendola P., Larosa C., Lombardo A., Sestito A., Infusino F., Sgueglia G. A., Mariani L., Marinaccio L., Lanza G. A., Crea F.

Department of Cardiology Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Rome, Italy


Aim. Several studies showed that primary percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) have a favourable impact on left ventricular remodeling and heart rate variability (HRV) both at short- and long-term follow-up in patients suffering an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, no previous study investigated the relationship between left ventricular remodeling and changes in HRV during follow-up in AMI patients treated by primary PCI.
Methods. We studied 28 patients with AMI (57±8 years, 27 men), treated by PCI within 12 hours of symptom onset. Patients underwent a 24-hour ECG Holter recording and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) echocardiographic assessment before discharge, and at 1-month and 6-month follow-up. HRV was measured in the time- and frequency-domain.
Results. A significant improvement of both time- and frequency-domain HRV variables was observed at 1-month and at 6-month follow-up with the most significant changes being found for standard deviation of normal-normal beat intervals (SDNN) in the time-domain (95.5±26.1 ms vs 125.5±29.8 ms vs 142.8±28.8 ms, respectively; P<0.001) and for very low frequency (VLF) amplitude in the frequency-domain (36.7±9.8 ms vs 44.1±11.1 vs 48.9±12.2 ms, respectively; P<0.001). In contrast, compared to basal values, LVEF was substantially unchanged at 1-month and 6-month follow-up (48.8±8.5% vs 50.8±10% vs 49.6±9%, respectively; P=0.25). At 6-month follow-up 11 patients showed an improvement of >5% of LVEF, whereas 17 patients did not show any improvement of LVEF. HRV variables significantly improved in a similar way in these two subgroups both at 1-month and at 6-month follow-up.
Conclusion. Our data demonstrate that, in AMI patients treated by primary PCI, HRV improves over time, independent of changes in LVEF. The clinical implications of these findings deserve to be addressed in future studies.

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