Lourenço Gallo, Jr. , José Morelo-Filho , Benedito C. Maciel , José A. Marin-Neto , Luiz E.B. Martins , Euclydes C. Lima-Filho , João Terra Filho , Oswaldo C. Almeida-Filho , Antonio O. Pintya , José C. Manço
12 November 2008
The autonomic nervous system of the heart was evaluated in two male groups composed of 11 patients with mitral valve prolapse and of 10 normal subjects, using the heart rate response in two types of tests: respiratory sinus arrhythmia at rest and dynamic exercise. Sinus arrhythmia was of higher magnitude in patients with mitral valve prolapse when compared to the control group; however, the differences reached statistical significance only at a respiratory frequency of 7 cycles/min. With respect to dynamic exercise (25, 50, 100, 150 W during 4 min), the heart rate response, either in terms of the early, vagus-dependent fast tachycardia (first 10 s), or the late, sympathetic-dependent tachycardia (1–4 min) was normal in both groups studied, the same occurring with aerobic exercise capacity evaluated by measurement of the anaerobic threshold. Thus, our results show that in the group of male patients with mitral valve prolapse studied here, the parasympathetic abnormalities, if present, are of questionable physiological significance and do not affect the sympathetic and parasympathetic control of heart rate during dynamic exercise.