Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability are not superior to classic autonomic testing in older patients with type 2 diabetes.
ABSTRACT Early detection of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) permits individual risk stratification. Spontaneous heart rate variability (HRV) and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) are suggested to be superior to classic autonomic testing in that they detect CAN earlier, with greater reliability, and do not require the patient's undue attention.
To test that hypothesis, we studied 53 diabetic patients (mean age, 55 years) and 38 age-matched healthy control subjects (HC). Subjects underwent deep breathing, Valsalva maneuver, and orthostatic testing. Each abnormal test was counted as 1 point. A change in systolic blood pressure during standing of more than 10 mm Hg was graded with a single point; a decrease of more than 20 mm Hg received 2 points. A total score of zero was regarded as no CAN (noCAN), a score > or =4 as severe CAN (sCAN), and scores of 1 to 3 as mild CAN (mCAN). Spontaneous BRS was determined using the sequence technique. HRV was calculated as coefficient of variation (CV), high frequency power (HF) and low frequency power (LF).
Mean group values for HRV and BRS were: CV = 3.9+/-1.3; 4.0+/-1.3; 2.4+/-1.1; and 1.2+/-0.4; BRS = 8+/-3; 8+/-5; 5+/-2; and 2+/-2 msec/mm Hg for HC n = 38, noCAN n = 15, mCAN n = 26, and sCAN n = 12, respectively. BRS was similar in HC and patients with noCAN. In sCAN, BRS detected only 10 of 12 patients. HRV and BRS did not improve reclassification based on discriminant analysis.
BRS and HRV did not detect CAN in older diabetic patients better than classic autonomic testing.