Physiol. Res. 49: 643-650, 2000

Baroreflex Sensitivity Determined by Spectral Method and Heart Rate Variability, and Two-Years Mortality in Patients After Myocardial Infarction


1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and 2First Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Received February 14, 2000
Accepted August 7, 2000

Sympathetic overactivity and low parasympathetic activity is an autonomic dysfunction (AD) which enhances cardiac mortality. In the present study, the impact of AD on the mortality in patients after myocardial infarction was evaluated. We examined 162 patients 7-21 days after myocardial infarction, 20 patients of whom died in the course of two years. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was estimated by spectral analysis of spontaneous fluctuations of systolic blood pressure and cardiac intervals (Finapres, 5 min recording, controlled breathing 20/min). The heart rate variability was determined as SDNN index (mean of standard deviations of RR intervals for all 5-min segments of 24-hour ECG recordings). BRS < 3 ms/mm Hg and/or SDNN index < 30 ms were taken as markers of AD. The risk stratification was performed according to the number of the following standard risk factors of increased risk of cardiac mortality (SRF): ejection fraction < 40 %, positive late potentials and the presence of ventricular extrasystoles > 10/h. No difference in mortality between patients with AD (4 %) and without AD (4.5 %) was found in 92 patients without SRF, the mortality in 6 patients with three SRF was 66.6 %. Five of these patients had AD. Out of 64 patients with one or two SRF, 32 had AD. The mortality of patients without AD was 6.25 % and 31.2 % of those with AD (p<0.025). It is concluded that AD enhanced two-years mortality five fold in our patients with moderate risks.

Key words
Baroreflex sensitivity · Spectral analysis · Myocardial infarction · Cardiac death · Risk stratification

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© 2000 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences