BACKGROUND: Low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS) is a myocardial dysfunction leading to systemic hypoperfusion, favored by particular conditions of the autonomic nervous system. LCOS is one of the adverse events that might occur after cardiac surgery.
OBJECTIVE: The aim is to test the hypothesis that short-term multiscale complexity (MSC) analysis of heart period (HP) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) variability series in the frequency bands typical of cardiovascular control could be fruitfully exploited in identifying subjects at risk of developing LCOS after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
APPROACH: HP and SAP beat-to-beat series were derived from electrocardiogram (ECG) and invasive arterial pressure (AP) signal acquired in 128 patients scheduled for CABG before (PRE) and after (POST) the induction of general anesthesia with propofol and remifentanil. Subjects were labeled as LCOS (n = 14) and noLCOS (n = 114) according to the LCOS development. MSC markers were calculated as the complement to 1 of the modulus of the average position of the poles dropping in the low-frequency (LF, 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high-frequency (HF, 0.15-0.5 Hz) bands as derived from the autoregressive model of HP and SAP series. Traditional time and frequency domain indexes were also calculated.
MAIN RESULTS: Traditional parameters were able to assess the depression of the cardiovascular regulation induced by general anesthesia, but showed weak performances in differentiating LCOS and noLCOS groups. Conversely, HP complexity in LF band and SAP complexity in HF band assessed during POST remained associated with LCOS even after entering a multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for clinical and demographic factors.
SIGNIFICANCE: The MSC approach can be fruitfully applied to improve risk stratification for LCOS after CABG likely because MSC markers describe the dysfunction of the sympathetic control and the impairment of the mechanical properties of the heart in the LCOS group.