Introduction: Incomplete cardiac revascularisation (ICR) assessed by residual SYNTAX score (rSs) is associated with increased 5-year mortality. Furthermore, in the general population, our group has demonstrated that impaired autonomic function determined by heart rate recovery time between 10 and 20 s (HRR10-20) following an active stand is associated with increased all-cause mortality.
Purpose: We hypothesised that ICR would be associated with impaired autonomic function determined by HRR10-20.
Methods: After ethical approval and informed consent, consecutive patients attending cardiac rehabilitation in a tertiary referral centre were enrolled. All patients had percutaneous coronary revascularisation. During an active stand, real-time heart rate, blood pressure and ECG recordings were taken using non-invasive digital photoplethysmography and HRR10-20 determined. Assessment of autonomic function was performed by determining speed of HRR10-20 post-orthostatic challenge.Patients with an rSs >0 were considered incompletely revascularised and those with an rSs of 0 fully revascularised. Demographic data were recorded and statistical analysis performed.
Results: Patients (n=53) comprised those with complete revascularisation (CR) (n=37) and ICR (n=16). In the ICR group, mean rSs was 9.4.HRR10-20 was impaired in the ICR group (-3±0.60) compared with the CR cohort (-6.56±0.52) (p<0.0001). Completeness of revascularisation was strongly associated with HRR10-20 (Pearson's correlation coefficient 0.529; p<0.0001). Baseline demographics did not differ significantly. Use of rate-limiting medication was similar between cohorts (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ivabradine).
Conclusions: Our data confirm significant correlation between ICR and impaired autonomic function determined by speed of heart rate recovery. Thus, determining autonomic dysfunction post-ICR may identify those at increased mortality risk.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; coronary stenosis; percutaneous coronary intervention; translational medical research.