Circadian variation of autonomic nervous activity in patients with multivessel coronary spasm

T. Watanabe, S. Kim, M. Akishita, K. Kario, H. Sekiguchi, H. Fujikawa, T. Mitsuhashi, Y. Ouchi, K. Shimada

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17 Scopus citations


The present study investigated whether the circadian rhythm of sympathovagal activity is related to the severity of coronary spasm or multivessel coronary spasm. Heart rate variability was examined in 22 consecutive patients with vasospastic angina provoked by intracoronary injection of acetylcholine, who had either multivessel spasm (Group M, n=11) or single vessel spasm (Group S, n=11), in 20 subjects without coronary artery disease (Group C) and 20 patients with effort angina who had organic coronary artery stenosis (Group E). The frequency domain indices were analyzed, including low frequency (LF: 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF: 0.15-0.4 Hz), the latter being an index of efferent parasympathetic activity, and the ratio (L/H) as an index of sympathovagal balance. The circadian variation of the parameters was analyzed by its pattern and was quantified by the difference of the mean values between daytime and nighttime. Although the HF power increased during nighttime in Groups C and S, this increase was attenuated in Groups E and M. The circadian variation of the L/H ratio (ie, a drop during nighttime) was smaller in the S and M groups than in Groups C and E. Accordingly, in Group M, the circadian variation of both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity was attenuated, but in Group S, the variation of sympathetic nervous activity, but not parasympathetic nervous activity, was decreased. These data suggest that relatively enhanced sympathetic nervous activity at night may be involved in the mechanism underlying multivessel coronary spasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-598
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Circulation Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Heart rate variability
  • Multivessel coronary spasm


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