Effect of propranolol on heart rate variability in hyperthyroidism

BMC Research Notes
Aurel T TankeuEugene Sobngwi


We aimed to determine the effect of propanolol on heart rate variability (HRV) in hyperthyroidism before antithyroid treatment. This was a before and after study, on ten patients presenting overt hyperthyroidism naïve to treatment. In each patient, a resting electrocardiogram was done followed by estimation of cardiac autonomic dysfunction during five maneuvers (Ewing battery tests). Long term HRV measurement was done using 24 h ambulatory electrocardiographic recording. This automatically provided estimation of HRV using SDNN and RMSSD index, LF, HF, and HF/LF ratio. After baseline investigations, 40 mg of propanolol was given twice a day for 3 days and same parameters were measured after 72 h of treatment. Our patients were aged 40 ± 10 years. Propanolol significantly reduced RR and HR interval (669 ms vs 763 ms and 91 vs 79 bpm; p < 0.01). QT and PR space were significantly extended (360 vs 384 ms and 133 vs 172 ms; p = 0.01). It increases QRS complex and blood pressure response to sustained handgrip but failed to modify previously decreased heart response to deep breathing. HRV parameters such as SDNN, RMSSD, LF, HF and sympathovagal balance estimate by HF/LF ratio remained unchanged. Although a significant reduction in hea...Continue Reading


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