Author(s): Vasconcelos DF, Junqueira LF Jr
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The association of variably altered cardiac autonomic and ventricular systolic and diastolic functions is still controversial and little explored in chronic Chagas' disease. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the extent to which cardiac autonomic and mechanical ventricular functions are altered and whether they are associated in asymptomatic chagasic cardiomyopathy. METHODS: A total of 13 patients with asymptomatic chagasic cardiomyopathy and 15 normal subjects (control group) were evaluated and the autonomic modulation of heart rate variability for five minutes, in the temporal and spectral domains, in the supine and orthostatic positions, as well as ventricular function based on morphological-functional variables obtained by Doppler echocardiography were correlated. Statistical analysis used the Mann-Whitney test and Spearman's correlation. RESULTS: In both positions, the temporal index (p = 0.0004 to 0.01) and total (p = 0.0007-0.005) and absolute spectral areas, of low and high frequencies (p = 0.0001 to 0.002), were lower in the chagasic group. The vagal-sympathetic balance was similar in both positions (p = 0.43 to 0.89). The echocardiographic variables did not differ between groups (p = 0.13 to 0.82), except the left ventricular end-systolic diameter, which was larger (p = 0.04) and correlated directly with reduced rates of global (p = 0.01 to 0.04) and parasympathetic (p = 0.002 to 0.01) autonomic modulation in patients with Chagas disease in the orthostatic position. CONCLUSION: The sympathetic and parasympathetic depressions with preserved balance were associated with only one ventricular dysfunction indicator. This suggests that cardiac autonomic dysfunction may precede and be independently more severe than ventricular dysfunction, with no causal association between both disorders in chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy.
This article was published in Arq Bras Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports