Different trends of changes in heart rate variability in patients with anterior and inferior acute myocardial infarction

Maria Vittoria Pitzalis, Filippo Mastropasqua, Francesco Massari, Andrea Passantino, Giovanni Luzzi, Luana Ligurgo, Roberto Colombo, Maria Giuseppina Biasco, Paolo Rizzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modifications in heart rate variability (HRV) parameters occur after acute myocardial infarction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the trend of HRV change during the acute phase and the first month after myocardial infarction, and establish whether they were affected by the anterior or inferior location of the infarction. The time-domain HRV measures of 59 patients with a first uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction were computed from 24-hour ECG recordings made on days 1, 2, 10, and 28 after hospital admission. At day 1, the mean RR cycle length (NN), the standard deviation of the NN intervals (SDNN), and the root mean square successive difference of NN intervals (RMSSD) were lower in the patients with anterior myocardial infarction. Although the parameters were similar in all of the patients at day 28, their behavior over time was different (P = 0.01): the SDNN in the patients with inferior myocardial infarction had decreased to the values found in anterior myocardial infarction patients by day 2 but, at day 10, both NN and SDNN tended to recover in both groups; RMSSD had diminished in both groups by day 2, but at day 10, had increased in the patients with anterior, but not in those with inferior myocardial infarction. These findings suggest that (1) in the very early phase of myocardial infarction, HRV is different in the two locations, (2) during the first hours of myocardial infarction patients with inferior location showed a greater vagal activity than patients with anterior location that became lower at day 10, and (3) the recovery of HRV is an early phenomenon in both groups, being already evident by the second week after myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1238
Number of pages9
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Heart rate variability
  • Infarct location
  • SDNN
  • Vagal modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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