Cardiac autonomic profile in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus

Carşamba Government Hospital, Carşamba, Samsun, Turkey.
Lupus (Impact Factor: 2.2). 12/2009; 19(3):255-61. DOI: 10.1177/0961203309351540
Source: PubMed


Neurological involvement is a well-documented issue in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, little is known about the involvement of the autonomic nervous system. This study was conducted to investigate autonomic nervous system dysfunction in patients with RA and SLE. Twenty-six RA patients, 38 SLE patients and 40 healthy controls were recruited from our in- and out-patient departments. Heart rate variability (HRV) parameters (the power of the high- [HF] and low-frequency [LF] band of haemodynamic time series, the ratio between low- and high-frequency components [LF/HF ratio], the power spectral density), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and beat-to-beat blood pressures were assessed by a novel non-invasive haemodynamic monitoring tool (Task Force Monitor [TFM], CNSystems Medizintechnik GmbH, Graz, Austria). Autonomic nervous system dysfunction was determined according to classical Ewing autonomic test battery. Furthermore, we implemented a secondary autonomic test score by modifying the Ewing test battery with additional criteria. Both the classical and modified Ewing test batteries have revealed that the frequencies of autonomic neuropathy were significantly higher in patient groups compared with controls (p < 0.001). Evaluation by TFM revealed that deterioration of sophisticated autonomic parameters (such as HRV and BRS) were more pronounced in the patient groups compared with controls. There was a significant association between BRS and Ewing test scores and abnormal BRS results were more frequent in patients with autonomic dysfunction according to Ewing test batteries. No relation was found between autonomic neuropathy and disease duration, disease activity and autoantibody positivity. Consequently, we believe that further large-scale studies investigating cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy in rheumatic diseases should be carried out to verify our findings and manifest clinical consequences beyond these results.

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    • "Both disease-related (namely, long-term corticosteroid use, systemic inflammation, and autonomic dysfunction) and traditional factors (namely, lipid abnormalities, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension) have been implicated in the increased CVD risk in SLE [4-7]. Additionally, SLE patients commonly present a reduced exercise capacity and physical function [8-12], which may further increase CVD and mortality risk [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise training has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy to counteract physical dysfunction in adult systemic lupus erythematosus. However, no longitudinal studies have evaluated the effects of an exercise training program in childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (C-SLE) patients. The objective was to evaluate the safety and the efficacy of a supervised aerobic training program in improving the cardiorespiratory capacity in C-SLE patients. Nineteen physically inactive C-SLE patients were randomly assigned into two groups: trained (TR, n = 10, supervised moderate-intensity aerobic exercise program) and non-trained (NT, n = 9). Gender-, body mass index (BMI)- and age-matched healthy children were recruited as controls (C, n = 10) for baseline (PRE) measurements only. C-SLE patients were assessed at PRE and after 12 weeks of training (POST). Main measurements included exercise tolerance and cardiorespiratory measurements in response to a maximal exercise (that is, peak VO2, chronotropic reserve (CR), and the heart rate recovery (ΔHRR) (that is, the difference between HR at peak exercise and at both the first (ΔHRR1) and second (ΔHRR2) minutes of recovery after exercise). The C-SLE NT patients did not present changes in any of the cardiorespiratory parameters at POST (P > 0.05). In contrast, the exercise training program was effective in promoting significant increases in time-to-exhaustion (P = 0.01; ES = 1.07), peak speed (P = 0.01; ES = 1.08), peak VO2 (P = 0.04; ES = 0.86), CR (P = 0.06; ES = 0.83), and in ΔHRR1 and ΔHRR2 (P = 0.003; ES = 1.29 and P = 0.0008; ES = 1.36, respectively) in the C-SLE TR when compared with the NT group. Moreover, cardiorespiratory parameters were comparable between C-SLE TR patients and C subjects after the exercise training intervention, as evidenced by the ANOVA analysis (P > 0.05, TR vs. C). SLEDAI-2K scores remained stable throughout the study. A 3-month aerobic exercise training was safe and capable of ameliorating the cardiorespiratory capacity and the autonomic function in C-SLE patients. Trial registration
    Arthritis research & therapy 03/2013; 15(2):R46. DOI:10.1186/ar4205 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    • "A number of factors, including increased glucose levels, can perpetuate damage to the vasculature in diabetic patients [43], but there is growing evidence that autonomic dysfunction can adversely alter heart rate and vascular tone, thereby contributing to myocardial ischaemia in diabetes [16,44,45]. Importantly, there is also evidence for autonomic dysfunction in RA [46], with inflammation being a potential mediating factor [47]. Given that RA and diabetes have a similar CVD risk burden [48] and vascular profile [49], further research examining the role of cardiac autonomic neuropathy on multiple cardiovascular parameters (including the SEVR) is required. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Evidence indicates that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have increased susceptibility to myocardial ischaemia that contributes to myocardial infarction. The subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR) can be measured using pulse wave analysis and reflects myocardial oxygen supply and demand. The objective of the present study was to examine specific predictors of SEVR in RA patients, with a specific focus on inflammation and classical cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Methods Two patient cohorts were included in the study; a primary cohort consisting of 220 RA patients and a validation cohort of 127 RA patients. All patients underwent assessment of SEVR using pulse wave analysis. Thirty-one patients from the primary cohort who were about to start anti-inflammatory treatment were prospectively examined for SEVR at pretreatment baseline and 2 weeks, 3 months and 1 year following treatment. Systemic markers of disease activity and classical CVD risk factors were assessed in all patients. Results The SEVR (mean ± standard deviation) for RA in the primary cohort was 148 ± 27 and in the validation cohort was 142 ± 25. Regression analyses revealed that all parameters of RA disease activity were associated with SEVR, along with gender, blood pressure and heart rate. These findings were the same in the validation cohort. Analysis of longitudinal data showed that C-reactive protein (P < 0.001), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P < 0.005), Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (P < 0.001), mean blood pressure (P < 0.005) and augmentation index (P < 0.001) were significantly reduced after commencing anti-TNFα treatment. Increasing C-reactive protein was found to be associated with a reduction in SEVR (P = 0.02) and an increase in augmentation index (P = 0.001). Conclusion The present findings reveal that the SEVR is associated with markers of disease activity as well as highly prevalent classical CVD risk factors in RA, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Further prospective studies are required to determine whether the SEVR predicts future cardiac events in RA.
    Arthritis research & therapy 11/2012; 14(6):R258. DOI:10.1186/ar4103 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 1988. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE; 12/1988
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