Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia
Rev Port Pneumol 2017;23:338-42 - Vol. 23 Num.6 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.06.001
Brief Communication
The reliability of short-term measurement of heart rate variability during spontaneous breathing in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
C.A. Simaa, J.A. Inskipa,b, A.W. Sheelc, S.F. van Eedena,d, W.D. Reide, P.G. Campa,b,,
a Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
b Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
c School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
d Department of Internal Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
e Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Received 08 March 2017, Accepted 04 June 2017
Abstract
Background

Reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of autonomic system dysfunction, has been reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Yet, limited data exists on the reliability of HRV measurement in this population. Here we investigated the reliability of short-term HRV measurement performed during spontaneous breathing in patients with COPD.

Methods

Thirteen individuals (8 males) with moderate-to-severe COPD (FEV1 46±16% predicted; FEV1/FVC 49±13) underwent standard time and frequency domain HRV measurements derived from 5-minute electrocardiograms collected on two separate days using a SphygmoCor device. Absolute and relative reliability was assessed by a number of coefficients including within-subject random variation, systematic change in the mean, and retest correlations.

Results

Within-subject coefficients of variation (CV) ranged from 4.3% to 193.4%. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) ranged from 0.72 to 0.93 for parameters related to overall HRV, and from 0.57 to 0.59 for those related to parasympathetic tone in both time and frequency domains. Mean heart rate was the only parameter that showed excellent absolute and relative reliability (CV=4.3%, ICC=0.93).

Conclusion

The HRV measurements showed overall moderate-to-substantial reliability during spontaneous breathing in COPD population. Our findings support the use of HRV parameters for diagnosis and cardiac risk assessment, but only mean heart rate can be used reliably for monitoring changes in autonomic status following rehabilitation intervention in this population.

Keywords
Autonomic nervous system, Heart rate variability, Pulmonary rehabilitation, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Rev Port Pneumol 2017;23:338-42 - Vol. 23 Num.6 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.06.001