Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of hypothyroidism on the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system by analysing separately sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on the heart, Design: In seven newly diagnosed untreated hypothyroid patients we analysed power spectral density of heart rate cyclic variations at rest, while lying, and while standing. The same protocol was repeated after the induction of stable euthyroidism by levothyroxine (L-T-4) treatment. The results were also compared with those obtained from seven age-, sex- and body mass index-matched control subjects. Methods: Heart rate variability was evaluated by autoregressive power spectral analysis (PSA). This method allows reliable quantification of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components of the heart rate power spectral density. These are considered to be under mainly sympathetic and purely parasympathetic control respectively In addition, heart rate variations during deep breathing, lying to standing, and Valsalva's manoeuvre were assessed, Results: PSA showed a sharp reduction in the HF (parasympathetic) component in hypothyroid subjects compared with controls (lying, 29.4 +/- 5.4 vs 47.7 +/- 6.3 normalized units (NU) (means +/- S.E.M.), P<0.05; standing, 14.0 +/- 3.5 vs 32.1 +/- 3.6 NU. P<0.005). Conversely, the LF (mainly sympathetic) component was higher in hypothyroid subjects than in controls (lying, 61.6 +/- 6.4 vs 45.4 +/- 6.7 NU; standing, 71.7 +/- 8.0 vs 53.1 +/- 5.6 NU), this difference being significant in the standing position, Hence, the LF/HF ratio, which is considered an index of sympathovagal balance, was increased in hypothyroid subjects while both lying (2.75 +/- 0.6 vs 1.16 +/- 0.3, P< 0.05) and standing (10.0 +/- 3.7 vs 1.85 +/- 0.3; P<0.02). Total heart rate variability, expressed as total power spectral density, was lower in hypothyroid patients than in control subjects, this difference being significant in the lying position (574 +/- 126 vs 2302 +/- 994 ms(2), P< 0.05), In patients re-examined after L-T4 therapy, complete normalization of cardiovascular parameters was observed (LF/HF ratio, lying, 1.26 +/- 0.4: standing, 2.56 +/- 0.8, both P < 0.01 vs baseline values). The response to conventional cardiovascular autonomic tests was not significantly different between hypothyroid patients and healthy controls, and did not change in patients after therapy, Conclusions: These results suggest that, contrary to the clinical picture, thyroid hormone deficiency is associated with an increased sympathetic influence on the autonomic cardiovascular system. The changes in sympathetic function could be explained by a secondary adaptation to an altered cardiovascular responsiveness.

Power spectral analysis of heart rate in hypothyroidism

ZOPPINI, Giacomo;MOGHETTI, Paolo;MUGGEO, Michele
2000-01-01

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of hypothyroidism on the autonomic regulation of the cardiovascular system by analysing separately sympathetic and parasympathetic influences on the heart, Design: In seven newly diagnosed untreated hypothyroid patients we analysed power spectral density of heart rate cyclic variations at rest, while lying, and while standing. The same protocol was repeated after the induction of stable euthyroidism by levothyroxine (L-T-4) treatment. The results were also compared with those obtained from seven age-, sex- and body mass index-matched control subjects. Methods: Heart rate variability was evaluated by autoregressive power spectral analysis (PSA). This method allows reliable quantification of low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components of the heart rate power spectral density. These are considered to be under mainly sympathetic and purely parasympathetic control respectively In addition, heart rate variations during deep breathing, lying to standing, and Valsalva's manoeuvre were assessed, Results: PSA showed a sharp reduction in the HF (parasympathetic) component in hypothyroid subjects compared with controls (lying, 29.4 +/- 5.4 vs 47.7 +/- 6.3 normalized units (NU) (means +/- S.E.M.), P<0.05; standing, 14.0 +/- 3.5 vs 32.1 +/- 3.6 NU. P<0.005). Conversely, the LF (mainly sympathetic) component was higher in hypothyroid subjects than in controls (lying, 61.6 +/- 6.4 vs 45.4 +/- 6.7 NU; standing, 71.7 +/- 8.0 vs 53.1 +/- 5.6 NU), this difference being significant in the standing position, Hence, the LF/HF ratio, which is considered an index of sympathovagal balance, was increased in hypothyroid subjects while both lying (2.75 +/- 0.6 vs 1.16 +/- 0.3, P< 0.05) and standing (10.0 +/- 3.7 vs 1.85 +/- 0.3; P<0.02). Total heart rate variability, expressed as total power spectral density, was lower in hypothyroid patients than in control subjects, this difference being significant in the lying position (574 +/- 126 vs 2302 +/- 994 ms(2), P< 0.05), In patients re-examined after L-T4 therapy, complete normalization of cardiovascular parameters was observed (LF/HF ratio, lying, 1.26 +/- 0.4: standing, 2.56 +/- 0.8, both P < 0.01 vs baseline values). The response to conventional cardiovascular autonomic tests was not significantly different between hypothyroid patients and healthy controls, and did not change in patients after therapy, Conclusions: These results suggest that, contrary to the clinical picture, thyroid hormone deficiency is associated with an increased sympathetic influence on the autonomic cardiovascular system. The changes in sympathetic function could be explained by a secondary adaptation to an altered cardiovascular responsiveness.
SYMPATHETIC-NERVE ACTIVITY; PLASMA NORADRENALINE; THYROID-HORMONE; SYMPATHOVAGAL BALANCE; AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHY
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/304082
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