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      Prospective Study of Heart Rate Variability and Mortality in Chronic Heart Failure : Results of the United Kingdom Heart Failure Evaluation and Assessment of Risk Trial (UK-Heart)

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          Abstract

          Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) have a continuing high mortality. Autonomic dysfunction may play an important role in the pathophysiology of cardiac death in CHF. UK-HEART examined the value of heart rate variability (HRV) measures as independent predictors of death in CHF. In a prospective study powered for mortality, we recruited 433 outpatients 62+/-9.6 years old with CHF (NYHA functional class I to III; mean ejection fraction, 0.41+/-0.17). Time-domain HRV indices and conventional prognostic indicators were related to death by multivariate analysis. During 482+/-161 days of follow-up, cardiothoracic ratio, SDNN, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, and serum sodium were significant predictors of all-cause mortality. The risk ratio for a 41.2-ms decrease in SDNN was 1.62 (95% CI, 1.16 to 2.44). The annual mortality rate for the study population in SDNN subgroups was 5.5% for >100 ms, 12.7% for 50 to 100 ms, and 51.4% for <50 ms. SDNN, creatinine, and serum sodium were related to progressive heart failure death. Cardiothoracic ratio, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, the presence of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia, and serum potassium were related to sudden cardiac death. A reduction in SDNN was the most powerful predictor of the risk of death due to progressive heart failure. CHF is associated with autonomic dysfunction, which can be quantified by measuring HRV. A reduction in SDNN identifies patients at high risk of death and is a better predictor of death due to progressive heart failure than other conventional clinical measurements. High-risk subgroups identified by this measurement are candidates for additional therapy after prescription of an ACE inhibitor.

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          Most cited references 29

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          The effect of digoxin on mortality and morbidity in patients with heart failure.

            (1997)
          The role of cardiac glycosides in treating patients with chronic heart failure and normal sinus rhythm remains controversial. We studied the effect of digoxin on mortality and hospitalization in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. In the main trial, patients with a left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.45 or less were randomly assigned to digoxin (3397 patients) or placebo (3403 patients) in addition to diuretics and angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (median dose of digoxin, 0.25 mg per day; average follow-up, 37 months). In an ancillary trial of patients with ejection fractions greater than 0.45, 492 patients were randomly assigned to digoxin and 496 to placebo. In the main trial, mortality was unaffected. There were 1181 deaths (34.8 percent) with digoxin and 1194 deaths (35.1 percent) with placebo (risk ratio when digoxin was compared with placebo, 0.99; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.91 to 1.07; P=0.80). In the digoxin group, there was a trend toward a decrease in the risk of death attributed to worsening heart failure (risk ratio, 0.88; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.01; P=0.06). There were 6 percent fewer hospitalizations overall in that group than in the placebo group, and fewer patients were hospitalized for worsening heart failure (26.8 percent vs. 34.7 percent; risk ratio, 0.72; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.66 to 0.79; P<0.001). In the ancillary trial, the findings regarding the primary combined outcome of death or hospitalization due to worsening heart failure were consistent with the results of the main trial. Digoxin did not reduce overall mortality, but it reduced the rate of hospitalization both overall and for worsening heart failure. These findings define more precisely the role of digoxin in the management of chronic heart failure.
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            Depressed heart rate variability as an independent predictor of death in chronic congestive heart failure secondary to ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.

            After acute myocardial infarction, depressed heart rate variability (HRV) has been proven to be a powerful independent predictor of a poor outcome. Although patients with chronic congestive heart failure (CHF) have also markedly impaired HRV, the prognostic value of HRV analysis in these patients remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether HRV parameters could predict survival in 102 consecutive patients with moderate to severe CHF (90 men, mean age 58 years, New York Heart Association [NYHA] class II to IV, CHF due to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in 24 patients and ischemic heart disease in 78 patients, ejection fraction [EF], 26%; peak oxygen consumption, 16.9 ml/kg/min) after exclusion of patients in atrial fibrilation with diabetes or with chronic renal failure. In the prognostic analysis (Cox proportional-hazards model, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis), the following factors were investigated: age, CHF etiology, NYHA class, EF, peak oxygen consumption, presence of ventricular tachycardia on Holter monitoring, and HRV measures derived from 24-hour electrocardiography monitoring, calculated in the time (standard deviation of all normal RR intervals [SDNN], standard deviation of 5-minute RR intervals [SDANN], mean of all 5-minute standard deviations of RR intervals [SD], root-mean-square of difference of successive RR intervals [rMSSD], and percentage of adjacent RR intervals >50 ms different [pNN50]) and frequency domain (total power [TP], power within low-frequency band [LF], and power within high-frequency band [HF]). During follow-up of 584 +/- 405 days (365 days in all who survived), 19 patients (19%) died (mean time to death: 307 +/- 315 days, range 3 to 989). Cox's univariate analysis identified the following factors to be predictors of death: NYHA (p = 0.003), peak oxygen consumption (p = 0.01), EF (p = 0.02), ventricular tachycardia on Holter monitoring (p = 0.05), and among HRV measures: SDNN (p = 0.004), SDANN (p = 0.003), SD (p = 0.02), and LF (p = 0.003). In multivariate analysis, HRV parameters (SDNN, SDANN, LF) were found to predict survival independently of NYHA functional class, EF, peak oxygen consumption, and ventricular tachycardia on Holter monitoring. The Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed SDNN 100 ms (p = 0.008). The coexistence of SDNN < 100 ms and a peak oxygen consumption < 14 ml/kg/min allowed identification of a group of 18 patients with a particularly poor prognosis (1-year survival 63% vs 94% in the remaining patients, p <0.001). We conclude that depressed HRV on 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography monitoring is an independent risk factor for a poor prognosis in patients with CHF. Whether analysis of HRV could be recommended in the risk stratification for better management of patients with CHF needs further investigation.
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              Randomised, placebo-controlled trial of carvedilol in patients with congestive heart failure due to ischaemic heart disease

                (1997)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Circulation
                Circulation
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0009-7322
                1524-4539
                October 13 1998
                October 13 1998
                : 98
                : 15
                : 1510-1516
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From The General Infirmary and St James’s University Hospital, Leeds (J.N., P.D.B., S.J.L.); Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham (R.A., P.B., A.C.); The Royal Infirmary, Doncaster (M.M., W.B.); and the University of Edinburgh (A.D.F., R.J.P., J.M.M.N., K.A.A.F.).
                Article
                10.1161/01.CIR.98.15.1510
                9769304
                © 1998

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