Orthostatic heart rate variability analysis in idiopathic Parkinson's disease

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We evaluated time and spectral analyses of 24-h heart rate variability (HRV) and the heart rate responses to passive tilt in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) in order to investigate cardiovascular autonomic functions.

Material and methods

Twenty-three subjects with IPD without autonomic symptoms and 15 age-matched healthy controls were enrolled. Frequency- and time-domain HRV parameters were studied during resting and passive head-up tilt (HUT) test.


All time-domain parameters were found to be low in patients with IPD. In patients with IPD, both low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) decreased during HUT period and no significant change in LF to HF ratio was noted. Both time- and frequency-domain HRV indices showed no correlation with age, disease severity and duration, and with L-dopa medication.


The results indicate that impairment of autonomic nervous system function in IPD without autonomic symptoms is frequent, and does not show clear association with clinical stage and the age of the patients.

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