The HAWAI registry evaluated the role of heart rate variability in predicting the occurrence of ventricular tachycardia and fibrillation (VT/VF) and sinus tachycardia in patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (45 patients with 155 RR recordings). A significant decrease of the mean value of all RR intervals (MeanNN) was observed in the period starting 20 and 40 min prior to VT/VF and sinus tachycardia, respectively. The standard deviation of RR intervals (SDNN) and the power at low frequency (LF) were the only parameters with significant changes prior to VT/VF. For sinus tachycardia, the root mean square of successive differences of all successive RR intervals (r-MSSD) and the power at low and high frequency (HF) decreased, whereas SDNN and the power at very low frequency increased. Comparison of RR recordings preceding VT/VF and sinus tachycardia revealed significant differences of the MeanNN, SDNN, r-MSSD, LF and HF. Based on a classification and regression tree analysis, MeanNN, SDNN and r-MSSD showed a sensitivity of 94.4% and a specificity of 50.6% as predictors of VT/VF. Our results suggest that the temporal changes in heart rate before an arrhythmic event can be used to predict the occurrence of VT/VF. These parameters may be used to optimize pacing therapies designed to prevent VT/VF recurrences as well as for improving device-based discriminators for VT/VF and sinus tachycardia.
- Defibrillators, Implantable
- Heart Rate
- Middle Aged
- Registries/statistics & numerical data
- Tachycardia, Sinus/physiopathology
- Tachycardia, Ventricular/physiopathology