Heart rate variability during hemodialysis and following renal transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2010 Jun;42(5):1637-40. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.01.062.


Previous studies have shown awareness of uremic dysfunction in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Dysautonomia in ESRD patients may be reversible after renal transplantation. We used a power spectral analysis (PSA) of heart rate variability (HRV) to assess alterations of autonomic activity in 14 controls and 14 nondiabetic hemodialysis ESRD patients who had undergone renal transplantation. Compared with matched control subjects, the power frequency determinations of low frequency (LF; 3.42 ln(ms(2)) vs 6.38 ln(ms(2)); P < .05 high frequency (HF; 2.29 ln(ms(2)) vs 5.27 ln(ms(2)); P < .05)), and total power (TP; 5.39 ln(ms(2)) vs 7.53 ln(ms(2)); P < .05) were significantly suppressed in ESRD patients undergoing hemodialysis. ESRD patients showed significantly improved HRV after renal transplantation. After renal transplantation, there was no significant difference in the TP (6.82 ln(ms(2)) vs 7.53 ln(ms(2)); P = .15) component between measurements in both patient subgroups. We further divided the ESRD patients into 2 groups based on their pretransplantation HRV, observing alterations in HRV after renal transplantation. Patients with significantly improved HRV were those with more suppressed HRV before transplantation (HF <3 In(ms(2)). Autonomic dysfunction in ESRD patients was not irreversible even if severe, and recovery was observed as early as 6 months after transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome