Cardiac autonomic dysfunction in hemodialysis patients: The value of heart rate turbulence

Hemodial Int. 2011 Apr;15(2):193-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4758.2011.00529.x. Epub 2011 Mar 13.


Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are likely to have cardiac autonomic dysfunction, which is related with an increased risk of sudden death. The aim of this study is to detect cardiac autonomic dysfunction in patients with ESRD and to evaluate the possible acute effects of hemodialysis (HD) on cardiac autonomic functions measured by heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate turbulence (HRT). Thirty-one (mean age 50 ± 13 years, 15 males) with ESRD on regular HD program and 31 healthy volunteers (mean age 51 ± 12 years, 15 males) were included in the study. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiogram recordings were taken from the subjects before and after HD and from the control group. Heart rate variability and HRT parameters were calculated from these recordings. All of the HRV and HRT parameters were found to be significantly blunted in patients in comparison with healthy individuals. There were significant differences in HRV after HD, but similar differences were not observed in HRT parameters. Cardiac autonomic functions were significantly altered in patients with ESRD. Heart rate turbulence parameters seemed to be less affected from HD and may be more useful in the evaluation of cardiac autonomic functions in the ESRD population.

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*