Cardiovascular medication seems to promote recovery of autonomic dysfunction after stroke

Wang R, Koehrmann M, Kollmar R, Köhn J, Schwab S, Kallmünzer B, Hilz MJ (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


DOI: 10.1007/s00415-022-11204-w


Background Stroke may compromise cardiovascular-autonomic modulation (CAM). The longitudinal post-stroke CAM alterations remain unclear as previous studies excluded patients with cardiovascular medication. This study evaluated whether CAM dysfunction improves after several months in patients under typical clinical conditions, i.e., without excluding patients with cardiovascular medication. Methods In 82 ischemic stroke patients [33 women, 64.9 +/- 8.9 years, NIHSS-scores 2 (interquartile range 1-5)], we evaluated the applications of cardiovascular medication before stroke, during autonomic tests performed within 1 week, 3 and 6 months after stroke onset. We determined resting RR intervals (RRI), systolic, diastolic blood pressures (BPsys), respiration, parameters reflecting total CAM [RRI-standard deviation (RRI-SD), RRI-total powers], sympathetic [RRI-low-frequency powers (RRI-LF), BPsys-LF powers] and parasympathetic CAM [RMSSD, RRI-high-frequency powers (RRI-HF powers)], and baroreflex sensitivity. ANOVA or Friedman tests with post hoc analyses compared patient data with data of 30 healthy controls, significance was assumed for P < 0.05. Results More patients had antihypertensive medication after than before stroke. First-week CAM testing showed lower RRIs, RMSSD, RRI-SDs, RRI-total powers, RRI-HF powers, and baroreflex sensitivity, but higher BPsys-LF powers in patients than controls. After 3 and 6 months, patients had significantly higher RRIs, RRI-SDs, RRI-total powers, RMSSDs, RRI-HF powers, and baroreflex sensitivity, but lower BPsys-LF powers than in the 1st week; RMSSDs and RRI-HF powers no longer differed between patients and controls. However, 6-month values of RRIs, RRI-SDs, and baroreflex sensitivity were again lower in patients than controls. Conclusions Even mild strokes compromised cardiovagal modulation and baroreflex sensitivity. After 3 months, CAM had almost completely recovered. Recovery might be related to the mild stroke severity. Presumably, CAM recovery was also promoted by the increased application of cardiovascular medication. Yet, slight CAM dysfunction after 6 months suggests continuing autonomic vulnerability.

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Wang, R., Koehrmann, M., Kollmar, R., Köhn, J., Schwab, S., Kallmünzer, B., & Hilz, M.-J. (2022). Cardiovascular medication seems to promote recovery of autonomic dysfunction after stroke. Journal of Neurology.


Wang, Ruihao, et al. "Cardiovascular medication seems to promote recovery of autonomic dysfunction after stroke." Journal of Neurology (2022).

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