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Instability of nocturnal parasympathetic nerve function in patients with chronic lung disease with or without nocturnal desaturation

Authors Fujimoto K, Yamazaki H, Uematsu A

Received 4 April 2018

Accepted for publication 28 June 2018

Published 11 September 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2841—2848

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S170163

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Keisaku Fujimoto,1 Haruna Yamazaki,2 Akikazu Uematsu2

1Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Shinshu University School of Health Sciences, Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan; 2Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan

Objective/background: This study was performed to evaluate the association of nocturnal autonomic nerve (AN) dysfunction, especially parasympathetic nerve (PN) function instability, and nocturnal oxygen desaturation (NOD) in patients with chronic lung diseases (CLD).
Patients and methods: Twenty-nine stable CLD patients with irreversible pulmonary dysfunction and mild-to-moderate daytime hypoxemia, 13 CLD patients receiving long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) with maintained SpO2 >90%, and 17 senior healthy volunteers underwent two-night examinations of nocturnal AN function by pulse rate variability (PRV) instead of heart rate variation using a photoelectrical plethysmograph simultaneously monitoring SpO2 and the presence of sleep disordered breathing at home. AN function was examined by instantaneous time–frequency analysis of PRV using a complex demodulation method.
Results: There were no significant differences in mean low frequency/high frequency (HF) ratio (index of sympathetic nerve activity) or mean HF amplitude (index of PN activity) among controls and CLD patients with and without NOD (defined as SpO2 <90% for at least 3% of total recording time at night). However, the relative times over which the same main HF peak was sustained for at least 20 seconds (%HF20sec) and 5 minutes in total recording time, indexes of PN function stability, were significantly reduced in CLD patients compared with controls, and further decreased in CLD patients with NOD compared with non-NOD. %HF20sec was significantly higher in the LTOT group than the NOD group. Furthermore, PaO2 at rest and nocturnal hypoxia were significantly correlated with PN function instability in CLD patients.
Conclusion: PN function is unstable at night associated with nocturnal hypoxemia in CLD patients, which may reflect poor quality of sleep.

Keywords: autonomic nerve function, heart rate variability, photoelectric plethysmography, long-term oxygen therapy, sleep disordered breathing

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