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Int J Cardiol. 1998 Oct 30;66(3):253-60.

Parasympathetic withdrawal antedates dynamic myocardial ischemia in patients with syndrome X.

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  • 1Department of Medicine National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine and Veterans General Hospital-Taichung, Taiwan.


This study was to evaluate the dynamic changes in cardiac autonomic control preceding electrocardiographic (ECG) myocardial ischemia in patients with syndrome X. Twenty-four-hour ambulatory ECG was obtained in 34 consecutive patients in a drug-free state. Fourteen (41%) of them, aged 58.8+/-13.5 years, presented a total of 19 ischemic episodes, mean duration 12.4+/-19.8 min (ranged 1 to 90 min). Heart rate variability was measured for 24 h; for 3 min and 30 min before, and during the 15 min (in five 3-min intervals) immediately antedating ST segment depression; and for another 3 min after ST segment back to normal. There were significant progressive shortenings in sinus cycle lengths over the 30 min preceding myocardial ischemia (-30 vs -3 minute, 822+/-32 ms vs 637+/-23 ins, P<0.05; a decrement of 22.5%). The sinus cycle lengths lengthened after ischemia ceased. High frequency activity, pNNSO and rMSS.D. were significantly reduced from the -30 min baseline to a nidus in the last 3 min before ischemia (P<0.05), whereas low frequency band and low/high frequency ratio did not present significant change. These findings strongly argue that cardiac autonomic control, especially vagal withdrawal, is involved in the pathogenesis of dynamic myocardial ischemia in syndrome X.

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