Prognostic role of heart rate variability in patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction treated by primary angioplasty

Ilaria Coviello, Gaetano Pinnacchio, Marianna Laurito, Alessandra Stazi, Irma Battipaglia, Lucy Barone, Roberto Mollo, Giulio Russo, Angelo Villano, Alfonso Sestito, Gaetano Antonio Lanza, Filippo Crea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of our study was to assess the prognostic value of heart rate variability (HRV) in ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients treated by percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and optimal medical therapy. Methods: We enrolled 182 consecutive patients with a first STEMI (59.1 ± 11 years; 82.4% men) treated by primary PTCA. HRV was assessed on 24-hour Holter ECG recordings before discharge and 1 and 6 months after discharge. The primary end point was the occurrence of major clinical events (MCE), defined as death or new acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Results: At a follow-up of 42 ± 23 months, MCE occurred in 14 patients (7.6%; 3 deaths and 11 re-AMIs). HRV parameters before discharge were significantly lower in patients with MCE, with standard deviation of all RR intervals (SDNN) and very low frequency and low frequency (LF) amplitude being the most predictive variables. HRV assessed at follow-up instead did not significantly predict MCE. At multivariate analysis, only SDNN (HR 0.97; p = 0.02) and LF (HR 0.90; p = 0.04) remained significantly associated with MCE. Lower tertile SDNN and LF values were associated with a multivariate HR of 3.91 (p = 0.015) and of 2.92 (p = 0.048), respectively. Similar results were observed considering re-AMI only as the end point. Conclusions: In STEMI patients treated by PTCA, HRV assessed before discharge was an independent predictor of MCE and re-AMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Heart rate variability
  • Primary percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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