Chang JS; Yoo CS;
Yi SH; Hong KH; Oh HS; Hwang JY; Kim SG; Ahn YM; Kim YS
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 300 Gumi-Dong, Bundang-Gu, Seongnam-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 463-707, Republic of Korea.
The cardiac autonomic dysfunction has been reported in patients with schizophrenia. Heart rate variability (HRV) provides non-invasive indices of cardiac autonomic modulation. This study examined whether patients with schizophrenia may show a distinctive pattern of HRV compared to healthy controls. Nine measures of time, frequency and complexity domains were extracted from 5-min resting evaluation of HRV in 30 unmedicated patients with schizophrenia and 30 age- and gender-matched controls. In addition to inferential statistics, a hierarchical clustering (HC) was used to examine difference in the interrelationships among HRV measures between the two groups. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant group effect. Significantly lower sample entropy (SampEn) and a trend towards a higher ratio of low- to high frequency (LF/HF) were observed in the schizophrenia group. In the results of HC using Ward's method, SampEn co-clustered with LF/HF ratio in patients with schizophrenia compared to the separation of LF/HF ratio in healthy controls. In concert with decreased parasympathetic activity, low complexity of heart rate dynamics may reduce adaptability of cardiovascular system to changes in internal or external environment, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular events. Diverse HRV measures combined in a multivariate fashion appear to be useful in understanding the pattern of neurocardiac modulation in patients with schizophrenia.