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The mechanistic and prognostic implications of heart rate variability analysis in patients with cirrhosis

Abid, Noor‐Ul‐Hoda; Mani, Ali R; (2022) The mechanistic and prognostic implications of heart rate variability analysis in patients with cirrhosis. Physiological Reports , 10 (8) , Article e15261. 10.14814/phy2.15261. Green open access

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Abstract

Chronic liver damage leads to scarring of the liver tissue and ultimately a systemic illness known as cirrhosis. Patients with cirrhosis exhibit multi-organ dysfunction and high mortality. Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is a hallmark of cirrhosis, reflecting a state of defective cardiovascular control and physiological network disruption. Several lines of evidence have revealed that decreased HRV holds prognostic information and can predict survival of patients independent of the severity of liver disease. Thus, the aim of this review is to shed light on the mechanistic and prognostic implications of HRV analysis in patients with cirrhosis. Notably, several studies have extensively highlighted the critical role systemic inflammation elicits in conferring the reduction in patients’ HRV. It appears that IL-6 is likely to play a central mechanistic role, whereby its levels also correlate with manifestations, such as autonomic neuropathy and hence the partial uncoupling of the cardiac pacemaker from autonomic control. Reduced HRV has also been reported to be highly correlated with the severity of hepatic encephalopathy, potentially through systemic inflammation affecting specific brain regions, involved in both cognitive function and autonomic regulation. In general, the prognostic ability of HRV analysis holds immense potential in improving survival rates for patients with cirrhosis, as it may indeed be added to current prognostic indicators, to ultimately increase the accuracy of selecting the recipient most in need of liver transplantation. However, a network physiology approach in the future is critical to delineate the exact mechanistic basis by which decreased HRV confers poor prognosis.

Type: Article
Title: The mechanistic and prognostic implications of heart rate variability analysis in patients with cirrhosis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14814/phy2.15261
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.15261
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Autonomic dysfunction, cirrhosis, heart rate variability, liver, MELD, network physiology, survival
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Department of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147240
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