Feasibility of assessing autonomic dysregulation at a distance: the case of the HIV-positive patient.

Mara Malacarne, Antonietta Cargnel, Daniela Lucini, Paolo Pizzinelli, Alberto Porta, Massimo Pagani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alterations in lipid metabolism are a possible consequence of highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients with consequent increase of cardiovascular risk. In this context we hypothesized that both acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HAART might be associated to alterations in autonomic cardiovascular regulation. In this preliminary investigation we enrolled a total of 66 men, subdivided in two groups, 33 HIV-positive patients, and 33 healthy controls, and we tested the hypothesis that heart rate variability (HRV) of HIV positive patients can be assessed with a transtelephonic approach from the HIV clinic: 100% of the total of electrocardiograms (ECG) recordings that were sent from the distant site were successfully received and analyzed. Evaluation of the signal was subsequently performed in the centralized laboratory, and consisted in extracting the RR interval variability (RRV) series and afterward subjecting it to autoregressive spectral analysis. This study shows the feasibility of obtaining, from personnel without specific training, adequate RR variability data for further spectral analysis form a distant specialized autonomic laboratory. This feature is of critical importance in the context of possible large-scale application of this simple telemedicine approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-563
Number of pages7
JournalTelemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Media Technology
  • Nursing(all)


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