Clinical correlates of autonomic response during tilting test in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Emilia D’Elia, Paolo Ferrero, Miriam Revera, Attilio Iacovoni, Edoardo Gandolfi, Michele Senni, Emilio Vanoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: The aim is to investigate autonomic nervous system imbalance in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) by combining echocardiographic morphological and functional parameters with the analysis of the autonomic responses to orthostatic stress. METHODS: A 10-min tilting test and a transthoracic echocardiogram focused on ventricular septal systolic (S wave) and diastolic function (isovolumic relaxation time) were performed. Low frequency on high frequency ratio (LF/HF) and RR variation (variation of beat to beat intervals) in response to passive orthostatism were used as measures of sympathetic reflex activation [delta LF/HF (D-LF/HF) and delta RR (DRR), respectively]. Brain natriuretic peptide was measured. RESULTS: A total of 50 HCM patients were categorized in two groups: D-LF/HF more than 0 (group 1, sympathetic response) and D-LF/HF 0 or less (group 2, parasympathetic response). Patients in group 2 had higher New York Heart Association class, a more frequent history of atrial fibrillation (38 versus 9% P?=?0.04) or syncope (46 versus 12% P?=?0.01) and an increased septal isovolumic relaxation time (122 versus 82?ms P?=?0.02). The same categorization was made according to lowest quartile DRR (DRR at least 23?ms, group 1: sympathetic response; DRR less than 23?ms, group 2: parasympathetic response). In group 2, patients were older, with advanced New York Heart Association class and higher history of atrial fibrillation. CONCLUSIONS: Autonomic response to passive orthostatism in HCM appears correlated with specific functional features of the hypertrophic heart. Altered neural afferent traffic from the localized area of segmental hypertrophy resulted in autonomic changes with a blunted sympathetic response, and an inappropriate vagal activation, especially in patients with history of atrial fibrillation or syncope.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 24 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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