Assessment of autonomic functions in children with familial Mediterranean fever by using heart rate variability measurements

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The aim of this study is to analyze possible autonomic nerve system alterations and assess the efficacy of heart rate variability (HRV) analysis in anticipation of cardiovascular risks in pediatric patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).


In this study, cardiac autonomic functions were investigated in children with FMF by analyzing HRV and its other probable cardiac effects by echocardiography. We studied 70 pediatric patients with FMF and 50 healthy controls.


The time-domain parameters of HRV were compared between the FMF and control groups. SDNN (standard deviation of all NN intervals) was significantly decreased in patients with FMF as compared to control subjects. The other time-domain parameters of HRV and the frequency-domain parameters of HRV were similar in both groups. Frequency-dependent HRV parameters were similar in both groups, as were conventional echocardiographic parameters.


HRV is a convenient and reliable technique for evaluation of autonomic functions. There are only a few studies on the assessment of autonomic functions by means of HRV in adult FMF patients but not in pediatric patients. Further studies are required to assess whether there is autonomic dysfunction in children with FMF.

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