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Relationship between linear and nonlinear dynamics of heart rate and impairment of lung function in COPD patients

Authors Mazzuco A, Medeiros WM, Sperling MP, Souza AS, Alencar MC, Arbex FF, Neder JA, Arena R, Borghi-Silva A

Received 28 January 2015

Accepted for publication 27 March 2015

Published 17 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1651—1661

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S81736

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Adriana Mazzuco,1 Wladimir Musetti Medeiros,2 Milena Pelosi Rizk Sperling,1 Aline Soares de Souza,2 Maria Clara Noman Alencar,2 Flávio Ferlin Arbex,2 José Alberto Neder,2,3 Ross Arena,4 Audrey Borghi-Silva1

1Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy Laboratory, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, 2Pulmonary Function and Clinical Exercise Physiology Unit, Respiratory Division, Department of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Laboratory of Clinical Exercise Physiology, Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada; 4Department of Physical Therapy and Integrative Physiology Laboratory, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Background: In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), functional and structural impairment of lung function can negatively impact heart rate variability (HRV); however, it is unknown if static lung volumes and lung diffusion capacity negatively impacts HRV responses. We investigated whether impairment of static lung volumes and lung diffusion capacity could be related to HRV indices in patients with moderate to severe COPD.
Methods: Sixteen sedentary males with COPD were enrolled in this study. Resting blood gases, static lung volumes, and lung diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) were measured. The RR interval (RRi) was registered in the supine, standing, and seated positions (10 minutes each) and during 4 minutes of a respiratory sinus arrhythmia maneuver (M-RSA). Delta changes (Δsupine-standing and Δsupine-M-RSA) of the standard deviation of normal RRi, low frequency (LF, normalized units [nu]) and high frequency (HF [nu]), SD1, SD2, alpha1, alpha2, and approximate entropy (ApEn) indices were calculated.
Results: HF, LF, SD1, SD2, and alpha1 deltas significantly correlated with forced expiratory volume in 1 second, DLCO, airway resistance, residual volume, inspiratory capacity/total lung capacity ratio, and residual volume/total lung capacity ratio. Significant and moderate associations were also observed between LF/HF ratio versus total gas volume (%), r=0.53; LF/HF ratio versus residual volume, %, r=0.52; and HF versus total gas volume (%), r=-0.53 (P<0.05). Linear regression analysis revealed that ΔRRi supine-M-RSA was independently related to DLCO (r=-0.77, r2=0.43, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Responses of HRV indices were more prominent during M-RSA in moderate to severe COPD. Moreover, greater lung function impairment was related to poorer heart rate dynamics. Finally, impaired lung diffusion capacity was related to an altered parasympathetic response in these patients.

Keywords: lung diffusion capacity, static lung volumes, rest hyperinflation, COPD, heart rate variability, cardiac autonomic nervous system

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