What Is the Predictive Value of Heart Rate Variability and Baroreflex Sensitivity?
In the last two decades several experimental and clinical studies have pointed out the prognostic value of autonomic function in heart disease. Two main techniques have been employed: (1) assessment of tonic control by the analysis of heart rate variability (HRV), (2) assessment of reflex autonomic responses, in particular baroreflexes. In the present chapter, those studies that were critical in the development of the prognostic role of these autonomic tests will be reviewed. Since most of the available information relates to coronary artery disease, data which will be reported here concern patients surviving a recent myocardial infarction. Finally, a large prospective international multicenter trial and its preliminary results will be discussed. This study was specifically designed to provide a definitive answer about the prognostic power of HRV and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity (BRS) after myocardial infarction.
KeywordsHeart Rate Variability Baroreflex Sensitivity Arrhythmic Event Heart Rate Variability Index Frequency Domain Measure
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