Relationship of Cardiac Sympathetic Nerve Innervation and Excitability to Cardiac Hypertrophy in Very Elderly Male Hypertensive Patients

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Abstract

Introduction

Our study aimed to disclose the relationship of cardiac sympathetic nerve innervation and excitability to myocardial hypertrophy in very old elderly male hypertensive patients with low serum testosterone level.

Methods

A total of 80 elderly male hypertensive patients aged from 80 to 95 years were recruited. Heart rate variability is determined by 24 h dynamic electrocardiogram and heart rate variability analysis system. Cardiac function and left ventricular mass index were determined using color Doppler ultrasound.

Results

Standard deviation of all normal sinus R–R intervals over 24 h (SDNN) significantly decreased in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy patients as compared with those without cardiac hypertrophy. SDANN and Standard deviation of the average normal sinus R–R intervals for all 5-min segment index, time-domain index reflecting sympathetic nerve tension, obviously decreased and LFnu and LFnu/HFnu, frequency-domain index representing sympathetic nerve excitability, significantly increased in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy patients as compared with those without cardiac hypertrophy. Myocardial norepinephrine content significantly increased while tyrosine hydroxylase expression significantly lowered in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy patients, and a negative correlation between myocardial tyrosine hydroxylase expression and myocardial norepinephrine content was present. Serum total testosterone level decreased in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy patients and was an independent risk factor for the increase in myocardial norepinephrine content and decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase expression.

Conclusions

These data confirm that cardiac sympathetic nerve hypoinnervation and relative increase in cardiac sympathetic nerve excitability are closely related to cardiac hypertrophy in very old hypertensive patients. A lower serum total testosterone level was the independent risk factor of cardiac sympathetic nerve hypoinnervation and relative increase in excitability in very old male hypertensive patients.

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