The Effect of Cardiovascular Medication on Heart Rate Variability in Patients Presenting with Early Sepsis at the Emergency Department: A Prospective Cohort Study

Lindsy van der Laan*, Raymond J. van Wijk, Vincent M. Quinten, Hjalmar R. Bouma, Jan C. ter Maaten

*Corresponding author for this work

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Our SepsiVit study showed that long-term, automatically analyzed ECG recordings can be used to determine heart rate variability (HRV) features associated with the clinical deterioration of early septic patients at the ED. This study focus on the influence of cardiovascular medication on HRV in patients with early sepsis at the ED. This study is an exploratory post-hoc analysis of our SepsiVit study. Eligible patients were connected to a mobile bedside monitor for continuously ECG measurements. The first 3 hours were analyzed for this study. Between January 2017 and December 2018, 171 patients were included with early sepsis, defined as infection and two or more systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria. We excluded sixteen patients because of insufficient measurements. Therefore, we included 155 patients in the final analysis: 72.9% with sepsis, 2.6% with septic shock, and 24.5% classified as infection. In 9.0% of the patients, medication directly impacting cardiac contractility was administered, while 22.6% received medication with an indirect effect. A combination of both types of medication was prescribed to 17.4% of the patients. The majority of patients (51.0%) did not utilize any cardiovascular medication. Patients using both medication with direct and indirect effect were on average 10 years older than patients using no cardiovascular medication (p 0.037). No differences in vital signs or HRV parameters were found in patients using cardiovascular medication. Our results showed that HRV is not influenced by cardiovascular medication. Consequently, the correction of HRV features for the use of cardiovascular medication is unnecessary when analyzing, modelling, and interpreting these signals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSN Comprehensive Clinical Medicine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12-Mar-2024

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