Cardiac Repolarization and Autonomic Regulation during Short-Term Cold Exposure in Hypertensive Men: An Experimental Study

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of our study was to assess the effect of short-term cold exposure, typical in subarctic climate, on cardiac electrical function among untreated middle-aged hypertensive men.

Methods

We conducted a population-based recruitment of 51 hypertensive men and a control group of 32 men without hypertension (age 55–65 years) who underwent whole-body cold exposure (15 min exposure to temperature −10°C, wind 3 m/s, winter clothes). Conduction times and amplitudes, vectorcardiography, arrhythmias, and heart rate variability (autonomic nervous function) were assessed.

Results

Short-term cold exposure increased T-peak to T-end interval from 67 to 72 ms (p<0.001) and 71 to 75 ms (p<0.001) and T-wave amplitude from 0.12 to 0.14 mV (p<0.001) and from 0.17 to 0.21 mV (p<0.001), while QTc interval was shortened from 408 to 398 ms (p<0.001) and from 410 to 401 ms (p<0.001) among hypertensive men and controls, respectively. Cold exposure increased both low (from 390 to 630 ms2 (p<0.001) and 380 to 700 ms2 (p<0.001), respectively) and high frequency heart rate variability (from 90 to 190 ms2 (p<0.001) and 150 to 300 ms2(p<0.001), respectively), while low-to-high frequency-ratio was reduced. In addition, the frequency of ventricular ectopic beats increased slightly during cold exposure. The cold induced changes were similar between untreated hypertensive men and controls.

Conclusions

Short-term cold exposure with moderate facial and mild whole body cooling resulted in prolongation of T-peak to T-end interval and higher T-wave amplitude while QTc interval was shortened. These changes of ventricular repolarization may have resulted from altered cardiac autonomic regulation and were unaffected by untreated hypertension.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007031

 


Autor / Fonte:Hintsala H, Kenttä TV, Tulppo M, Kiviniemi A, Huikuri HV, et al. (2014) . PLoS ONE 9(7): e99973. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099973
Link: http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0099973&representation=PDF