Cardiovascular autonomic alterations in hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia

Stefano Aliberti, Eleonora Tobaldini, Fabio Giuliani, Vanessa Nunziata, Giovanni Casazza, Giulia Suigo, Alice D'Adda, Giulia Bonaiti, Andrea Roveda, Andreia Queiroz, Valter Monzani, Alberto Pesci, Francesco Blasi, Nicola Montano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Alterations of cardiac autonomic control (CAC) are associated with poor outcomes in patients with infectious and non-infectious diseases. No evaluation of CAC in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been performed so far. The aim of the study was to assess CAC in patients with CAP and evaluate the impact of its alterations on disease severity and clinical outcomes in a multicenter, prospective, observational study. Methods: Consecutive patients hospitalized for CAP were enrolled between 2011 and 2013 two university hospitals in Italy. CAC was assessed by linear spectral and non-linear symbolic analysis of heart rate variability. The presence of severe CAP was evaluated on hospital admission. The primary study outcome was time to clinical stability (TCS) during hospitalization. Results: Among the 75 patients enrolled (median age: 75 years; 57 % males), a significantly lower total variability and reduction of sympathetic rhythmical component with predominant respiratory modulation was detected in comparison to controls. Among CAP patients affected by a severe CAP on admission, CAC showed a lower sympathetic modulation and predominant parasympathetic oscillatory rhythm. At the multivariate analysis, variables independently correlated with a TCS >7 days were total power, as marker of total variability, [OR (95 % CI): 0.997 (0.994-1.000), p = 0.0454] and sympathetic modulation [OR (95 % CI): 0.964 (0.932-0.998), p = 0.0367]. Conclusions: Loss of sympathetic rhythmical oscillation is associated with a more severe disease and worse early clinical outcome in hospitalized patients with CAP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 4 2016


  • Cardiac autonomic control
  • Heart rate variability
  • Pneumonia
  • Spectral analysis
  • Symbolic analysis
  • Sympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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