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Heart rate variability in patients after cardiac valve surgery

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The aim of study was to analyze heart rate variability (HRV) after different cardiac valve surgery procedures and the prognostic values of these findings. This study included 101 consecutive patients who underwent surgical implantation for an artificial valve. The mean age of the patients was 62 ± 10 years. An aortic valve was implanted in 65 patients. A mitral valve was implanted in 36 patients. HRV was analyzed from 24 hours Holter electrocardiographic (ECG) records. The time from the operation to the recording of Holter ECG and measuring HRV was 3.8 ± 1.4 months. After discharged from stationary cardiac rehabilitation, all involved patients were contacted to provide data on their health in the follow-up period (33 ± 21 months). A total of 46 patients with an implanted artificial valve had decreased overall HRV or standard deviation of all normal R-R intervals (SDNN) < 93 ms. Patients with an implanted artificial mitral valve had a shorter RR interval (817 ± 122 vs. 863 ± 122ms, p=0.03) and lower values of total power (1166 ± 1888 vs. 2802 ± 3601 ms2, p<0.001) compared to patients with an implanted artificial aortic valve. The results of study show that several months after cardiac surgery, almost half of the patients with an implanted artificial valve have decreased HRV. However, postoperative decreased HRV in those patients have no importance in long-term prediction of mortality rate.
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  • Department of Cardiology, Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Krapinske Toplice, Croatia
  • Department of Cardiology, Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation Krapinske Toplice, Croatia
  • Andrija Stampar School of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
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