Does cardiac denervation affect the short-term blood pressure variability in humans?


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo explore the repercussion of cardiac denervation on the short-term blood pressure variability in humans, in order to assess the extent to which the variability of blood pressure is linked to the variability of heart rate.MethodsBeat-to-beat blood pressure and RR interval time were recorded in 16 heart-transplanted patients and were compared with those of 10 healthy control subjects in the resting supine, sitting and standing positions. Blood pressure and RR interval variabilities were assessed by spectral analysis.ResultsThe total blood pressure power and the supine and sitting very low-frequency, low-frequency and high-frequency blood pressure variability were similar in the heart-transplanted patients and in the controls, despite a marked reduction in the RR interval variability in the heart-transplanted patients. However, the heart-transplanted patients had lower standing low-frequency blood pressure variability than the control subjects. Moreover, very low-frequency and low-frequency RR interval variabilities reappeared in the long-term heart-transplanted patients but not in the short-term heart-transplanted patients (range of time after transplantation 53–124 and 3–25 months, respectively).ConclusionsShort-term RR interval fluctuations are not mandatory for the maintenance of normal blood pressure variability in the supine and sitting positions, but may contribute to the increase in the low-frequency blood pressure variability which occurs normally in the standing position. Moreover, the long-term heart-transplanted patients had increased RR interval variability, which may have been caused by the reappearance of limited autonomic cardiac modulation. However, this increased RR interval variability did not affect the corresponding blood pressure variability.

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