Long-term alterations of heart rate dynamics after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.Anesth Analg. 2006 Apr; 102(4):1026-31.A&A
We tested the hypothesis that there may be long-term alterations in overall heart rate (HR) variability and in fractal HR behavior after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Reduced HR variability predicts morbidity in various patient populations. Continuous 24-h electrocardiograph recordings were performed in 25 elective CABG surgery patients 1 wk before the operation and 6 wk and 6 mo after. Seventeen of the patients also had recordings 12 mo after CABG. Time and frequency domain measures of HR variability were assessed, along with measurement of short-term fractal scaling exponent (alpha1), approximate entropy, and power-law relationship of relative risk interval variability (beta-slope). The high, low, very low, and ultra low frequency powers decreased significantly after the operation and remained at a significantly decreased level 6 wk and 6 and 12 mo after the operation than before (P = 0.01, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P < 0.001 for overall difference between the time points, respectively). The fractal scaling exponent alpha1 was at significantly more decreased 6 wk after (P < 0.05) CABG than before surgery but recovered to the preoperative level 6 mo after the operation. Long-term fractal organization (beta-slope) remained stable, but the overall complexity (approximate entropy) decreased toward more predictable HR dynamics during the study period (P < 0.01 after 1 yr). The predictive value of temporary and persistent long-term changes of the HR dynamics after CABG surgery for long-term outcome is not clear.