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- BMD, Becker’s muscular dystrophy
- HF, high frequency
- HRV, heart rate variability
- LF, low frequency
- SDNN, standard deviation of all RR intervals
Becker’s muscular dystrophy (BMD) is an X linked recessive muscular dystrophy caused by dystrophin anomalies in striated muscles, with myocardial involvement1,2 and consequent dilated cardiomyopathy, rhythm and conduction disorders, and a high risk of sudden cardiac death.3,4 Heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of the cyclical variations of beat-to-beat (RR) intervals that reflects cardiac autonomic function and sympathovagal balance.5,6 A predominance of sympathetic tone in cardiac activity induces tachycardia and reduced beat-to-beat variations, whereas parasympathetic nerve activity reduces heart rate and increases HRV.7 HRV is a well-correlated non-invasive parameter used to stratify arrhythmic risk in patients with chronic failure. In general, higher HRV is desirable, and lower HRV has been found to be a significant independent predictor of cardiac mortality and morbidity.8,9
The objective of our study was to evaluate the prognostic value of HRV for sudden death in a population of patients with BMD and dilated cardiomyopathy.
The study population consisted in 30 men (mean age 44.2 (SD 12) years) with BMD and a variable stage of myocardial involvement. The control group consisted of 30 healthy men (age 39 (3.2) years). All patients included in study underwent physical …