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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - Kardiovaskuläre Physik

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät | Institut für Physik | Kardiovaskuläre Physik | Publications | Longitudinal analysis of heart rate variability in chronic hypertensive pregnancy

T Walther, N Wessel, M Baumert, H Stepan, A Voss, and R Faber (2005)

Longitudinal analysis of heart rate variability in chronic hypertensive pregnancy

Hypertens. Res., 28:113–118.

In the US, it is currently estimated that 3\% of pregnant women have chronic hypertension, or more than 100,000 pregnant women each year. The aim of our study was to investigate the adaptation of autonomic control during pregnancy based on heart rate variability analysis and to determine whether chronic hypertension during pregnancy has an impact on this adaptation. Sixteen pregnant women with chronic hypertension (CH group; mean age, 30 years; range, 25-33 years) and 35 healthy pregnant women serving as controls (CON group; mean age, 28 years; range, 24-30 years) were recruited for this longitudinal study. Beginning at the 20th week of pregnancy, the women were monitored every 4th week until delivery. For the analysis of heart rate variability, Portapres signals (200 Hz) were recorded for 30 min under resting conditions. Women in the CH group had significantly elevated blood pressure compared to controls (CON, 111 mmHg [105-132]; CH, 140 mmHg [132-148]; p<0.001). An increased heart rate was found in both groups during the second half of pregnancy. Consequently, decreased heart rate variability was observed, but was more pronounced in the CON group. There was a shift in the frequency bands indicated by an elevation of the low-to-high frequency ratio (LF/HF) in both groups due to a decrease in HF, and thus a significant increase in LFn (LF power in normalized units). However, VLF (power of very low frequency range) increased exclusively in the CON pregnancies. Our data showed no significant difference in heart rate variability between the subjects of the CH and CON groups. Longitudinal variations were detectable in normal pregnancies and also, albeit to a lesser degree, in chronic hypertensive pregnant women. Thus, our data indicate that patients with long-term hypertension are still able to respond to the physiological changes occurring during pregnancy.

[DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1291/hypres.28.11310.1291/hypres.28.113] [PubMed:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1602573716025737]