Autonomic nervous tone in vitiligo patients – A case-control study

Eva Maria Trapp, Michael Trapp, Francesca Sampogna, Peter Michael Rohrer, Josef Wilhelm Egger, Peter Wolf, Hans Peter Kapfhammer, Michael Dennis Linder, Erika Richtig, Johannes Baulmann, Angelika Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this cross-sectional, exploratory case-control study the vegetative arousal in vitiligo patients compared to an age- and gender-matched healthy control group was assessed. Forty-eight participants (24 outpatients with generalised vitiligo and 24 healthy controls) completed a test procedure consisting of an initial period of rest (R1), a defined mental stress task (the d2 test of attention), a second period of rest (R2) followed by an individually, age-adapted physical stress task (bicycle ergometry) and a final period of rest (R3). Based on a continuously recorded electrocardiogram, heart rate variability, in particular high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) components were determined. Within the 3 periods of rest, vitiligo patients showed a higher vegetative arousal than controls, represented by the ratio of LF/HF which mirrors the sympatho-vagal balance (R1: p = 0.027; R2: p = 0.003; R3: p = 0.029). No differences between the 2 groups were found during the mental (p = 0.187) and the physical stress task (p = 0.773). The results suggest a higher vegetative arousal in vitiligo patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
JournalActa Dermato-Venereologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Autonomic nervous tone
  • Mental and physical stress
  • Sympatho-vagal balance
  • Vegetative arousal
  • Vitiligo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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