Do alterations in inter-ictal heart rate variability predict sudden unexpected death in epilepsy?

Epilepsy Res. 2009 Dec;87(2-3):277-80. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2009.08.008. Epub 2009 Sep 10.


Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) may predispose to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). We ascertained whether HRV predicts SUDEP in chronic epilepsy using a case-control design and investigated parameters of inter-ictal HRV in 14 patients (7 had died from SUDEP). No HRV parameter was associated with SUDEP. Thus, although altered HRV might be involved in SUDEP, HRV parameters are not clear-cut predictors for SUDEP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / mortality
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / mortality
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart / innervation
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests