Acute moderate exercise does not further alter the autonomic nervous system activity in patients with sickle cell anemia

PloS One
Mona HedrevillePhilippe Connes


A decreased global autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity and increased sympathetic activation in patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) seem to worsen the clinical severity and could play a role in the pathophysiology of the disease, notably by triggering vaso-occlusive crises. Because exercise challenges the ANS activity in the general population, we sought to determine whether a short (<15 min) and progressive moderate exercise session conducted until the first ventilatory threshold had an effect on the ANS activity of a group of SCA patients and a group of healthy individuals (CONT group). Temporal and spectral analyses of the nocturnal heart rate variability were performed before and on the 3 nights following the exercise session. Standard deviation of all normal RR intervals (SDNN), total power, low frequencies (LF) and high frequencies powers (HF) were lower but LF/HF was higher in SCA patients than in the CONT group. Moderate exercise did not modify ANS activity in both groups. In addition, no adverse clinical events occurred during the entire protocol. These results imply that this kind of short and moderate exercise is not detrimental for SCA patients.


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Related Concepts

Anemia, Sickle Cell
Autonomic Nervous System
Pulse Rate
Severity of Illness Index
Exercise, Isometric
Nested Case-Control Studies
Heart Failure
Radiography, Dual-Energy Scanned Projection

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