Heart rate turbulence for guiding electric therapy in patients with cardiac failure

Giovanni Fazio, Filippo M. Sarullo, Luciana D'Angelo, Monica Lunetta, Claudia Visconti, Gabriele Di Gesaro, Loredana Sutera, Giuseppina Novo, Salvatore Novo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is well-known that a reduction of the cardiac frequency variability, measurable with the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) system, is an indirect expression of the sympathetic-autonomic tone. Another index, Heart Rate Turbulence (HRT), has been recently suggested as a possible unit of measurement for the sympathetic-autonomic tone: this system allows to estimate the baro-reflex response of the carotid arteries to an early ventricular extra-systole by analysing heart rate variations induced by a premature beat. Methods and results: In our research we have analyzed this phenomenon in patients affected by moderate or severe cardiac failure. In particular, we divided 110 patients into two arms: subjects with or without a history of resuscitated arrhythmic death, that is, patients with high or low arrhythmic potential. In a detailed analysis of the sympatheticautonomic tone, using both the above-mentioned parameters, HRV showed an irrelevant statistical difference between the two arms; on the contrary, HRT showed a significant statistical difference. Conclusions: If our conclusions will be confirmed by next larger reports, HRT could become a reliable index for screening the arrhythmic potential of patients affected by cardiac failure, to select the ones who need a defibrillator implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Defibrillator
  • HRT
  • HRV
  • ICD
  • Sudden death
  • Turbulence
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Health Informatics


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