Impaired parasympathetic function in long-COVID postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – a case-control study.

Publication date: Sep 06, 2023

Eighty percent of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 report persistence of one symptom beyond the 4-week convalescent period. Those with orthostatic tachycardia and orthostatic symptoms mimicking postural tachycardia syndrome, they are defined as Long-COVID POTS [LCP]. This case-control study investigated potential differences in autonomic cardiovascular regulation between LCP patients and healthy controls. Thirteen LCP and 16 healthy controls, all female subjects, were studied without medications. Continuous blood pressure and ECG were recorded during orthostatic stress test, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and Valsalva maneuver. Time domain and power spectral analysis of heart rate [HR] and systolic blood pressure [SBP] variability were computed characterizing cardiac autonomic control and sympathetic peripheral vasoconstriction. LCP had higher deltaHR (+ 40 +/- 6 vs.  + 21 +/- 3 bpm, p = 0. 004) and deltaSBP (+ 8 +/- 4 vs. -1 +/- 2 mmHg, p = 0. 04) upon standing; 47% had impaired Valsalva maneuver ratio compared with 6. 2% in controls (p = 0. 01). Spectral analysis revealed that LCP had lower RMSSD (32. 1 +/- 4. 6 vs. 48. 9 +/- 6. 8 ms, p = 0. 04) and HF, both in absolute (349 +/- 105 vs. 851 +/- 253ms, p = 0. 03) and normalized units (32 +/- 4 vs. 46 +/- 4 n. u., p = 0. 02). LF was similar between groups. LCP have reduced cardiovagal modulation, but normal sympathetic cardiac and vasoconstrictive functions. Impaired parasympathetic function may contribute to the pathogenesis of Long-COVID POTS syndrome.

Concepts Keywords
851253ms ANS
Bioelectron HRV
Cardiac Long-COVID
Parasympathetic Parasympathetic
Week POTS
Spectra

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