An efficient cardiac rehabilitation programme (CRP) can improve the functional ability of patients after acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
To examine the effect of a CRP on parasympathetic reactivation and heart rate recovery (HRR) measured after a 6-min walk test (6MWT), and correlation with 6MWT distance and well-being after ACS.
Eleven normoweight patients after ACS (BMI<25kg/m2; 10 males; mean [SD] age 61  years) underwent an 8-week CRP. Before (pre-) and at weeks 4 (W4) and 8 (W8) during the CRP, they performed a 6MWT on a treadmill, followed by 10-min of seated passive recovery, with HRR and HR variability (HRV) recordings. HRR was measured at 1, 3, 5 and 10min after the 6MWT (HRR1, HRR3, HRR5, HRR10), then modelized by a mono-exponential function. Time-domain (square root of the mean of the sum of the squares of differences between adjacent normal R-R intervals [RMSSD]) and frequency-domain (with high- and low-frequency band powers) were used to analyse HRV. Participants completed a mental and physical well-being questionnaire at pre- and W8. Exhaustion after tests was assessed by the Borg scale. Pearson correlation was used to assess correlations.
HRR3, HRR5 and HRR10 increased by 37%, 36% and 28%, respectively, between pre- and W8 (P<0.05), and were positively correlated with change in 6MWT distance (r=0.58, 0.66 and 0.76; P<0.05). Percentage change in HRR3 was positively correlated with change in well-being (r=0.70; P=0.01). Parasympathic reactivation (RMSSD) was improved only during the first 30sec of recovery (P=0.04).
Among patients undergoing a CRP after ACS, increased HRR after a 6MWT, especially at 3min, was positively correlated with 6MWT distance and improved well-being. HRR raw data seem more sensitive than post-exercise HRV analysis for monitoring functional and autonomic improvement after ACS.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Autonomic nervous system, Heart rate recovery, Heart rate variability, Cardiac rehabilitation, Acute coronary syndrome