Effects of sevoflurane on QT dispersion and heart rate variability

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The purpose of this study was to use estimates of corrected QT dispersion (QTcd) and heart rate variability (HRV) to assess the effects of sevoflurane, an inhalation agent used frequently in clinical practice, on autonomic cardiac function. This study was conducted prospectively and in a blind manner on 20 women between 38 and 51 y of age who were classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists stage I-II and whose treatment required total abdominal hysterectomy. Electrocardiograms were recorded by 12-lead Holter monitor for 5 min before sevoflurane induction and again for 5 min at 10 min after tracheal intubation. Data on the first recording were considered as baseline; those on the second recording were viewed as final data. The study was terminated at this point, and surgery was allowed to proceed. QTcd and HRV values were assessed by a cardiologist, who was blinded to all data. All parameters were expressed as a mean value ± standard deviation. Wilcoxon's test was used to compare baseline and final data. Statistical significance was considered as P< .05. No significant changes were observed between baseline and final QTcd values and between low and high-frequency components (LF and HF) of HRV; nor were changes seen in the LF/HF ratio. With the patient under sevoflurane/nitrous oxide anesthesia, no significant changes were detected in QTcd, LF, and HF values, and in the LF/HF ratio, whereas a significant increase (P=.001) was seen in standard deviation of the R-R interval, which was used as a measure of cardiac autonomic tone.

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