Background: Post-exercise heart rate recovery (HRR) is an index of parasympathetic function associated with clinical outcome in patients with chronic heart failure. However, its relationship with the pro-inflammatory response and prognostic value in consecutive patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) has not been investigated. Methods: We measured HRR and pro-inflammatory markers in 107 prospectively and consecutively enrolled, recovered ADHF patients (71 male, 59 ± 15 years, mean ejection fraction 28.9 ± 14.2%) during the pre-discharge period. The primary endpoint included cardiovascular (CV) events defined as CV mortality, cardiac transplantation, or rehospitalization due to HF aggravation. Results: The CV events occurred in 30 (28.0%) patients (5 cardiovascular deaths and 7 cardiac transplantations) during the follow-up period (median 214 days, 11-812 days). When the patients with ADHF were grouped by HRR according to the Contal and O'Quigley's method, low HRR was shown to be associated with significantly higher levels of serum monokine-induced by gamma interferon (MIG) and poor clinical outcome. Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that low HRR was an independent predictor of CV events in both enter method and stepwise method. The addition of HRR to a model significantly increased predictability for CV events across the entire follow-up period. Conclusion: Impaired post-exercise HRR is associated with a pro-inflammatory response and independently predicts clinical outcome in patients with ADHF. These findings may explain the relationship between autonomic dysfunction and clinical outcome in terms of the inflammatory response in these patients.
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© 2016 Youn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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