Skin sympathetic nerve activity as a biomarker for syncopal episodes during a tilt table test

Awaneesh Kumar, Keith Wright, Domingo E. Uceda, Peter A. Vasallo, Perry L. Rabin, David Adams, Johnson Wong, Mithilesh Das, Shien Fong Lin, Peng Sheng Chen, Thomas H. Everett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Autonomic imbalance is the proposed mechanism of syncope during a tilt table test (TTT). We have recently demonstrated that skin sympathetic nerve activity (SKNA) can be noninvasively recorded using electrocardiographic electrodes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased SKNA activation precedes tilt-induced syncope. Methods: We studied 50 patients with a history of neurocardiogenic syncope undergoing a TTT. The recorded signals were band-pass filtered at 500–1000 Hz to analyze nerve activity. Results: The average SKNA (aSKNA) value at baseline was 1.38 ± 0.38 μV in patients without syncope and 1.42 ± 0.52 μV in patients with syncope (P = .77). On upright tilt, aSKNA was 1.34 ± 0.40 μV in patients who did not have syncope and 1.39 ± 0.43 μV in patients who had syncope (P = .65). In all 14 patients with syncope, there was a surge of SKNA before an initial increase in heart rate followed by bradycardia, hypotension, and syncope. The peak aSKNA immediately (<1 minute) before syncope was significantly higher than baseline aSKNA (2.63 ± 1.22 vs 1.39 ± 0.43 μV; P = .0005). After syncope, patients were immediately placed in the supine position and aSKNA dropped significantly to 1.26 ± 0.43 μV; (P = .0004). The heart rate variability during the TTT shows a significant increase in parasympathetic tone during syncope (low-frequency/high-frequency ratio: 7.15 vs 2.21; P = .04). Conclusion: Patients with syncope do not have elevated sympathetic tone at baseline or during the TTT except immediately before syncope when there is a transient surge of SKNA followed by sympathetic withdrawal along with parasympathetic surge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHeart Rhythm
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Tilt-Table Test
Syncope
Biomarkers
Skin
Heart Rate
Vasovagal Syncope
Supine Position
Bradycardia

Keywords

  • Heart rate variability
  • Nitroglycerine
  • Skin sympathetic nerve activity
  • Syncope
  • Tilt table test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Skin sympathetic nerve activity as a biomarker for syncopal episodes during a tilt table test. / Kumar, Awaneesh; Wright, Keith; Uceda, Domingo E.; Vasallo, Peter A.; Rabin, Perry L.; Adams, David; Wong, Johnson; Das, Mithilesh; Lin, Shien Fong; Chen, Peng Sheng; Everett, Thomas H.

In: Heart Rhythm, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kumar, Awaneesh ; Wright, Keith ; Uceda, Domingo E. ; Vasallo, Peter A. ; Rabin, Perry L. ; Adams, David ; Wong, Johnson ; Das, Mithilesh ; Lin, Shien Fong ; Chen, Peng Sheng ; Everett, Thomas H. / Skin sympathetic nerve activity as a biomarker for syncopal episodes during a tilt table test. In: Heart Rhythm. 2019.
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abstract = "Background: Autonomic imbalance is the proposed mechanism of syncope during a tilt table test (TTT). We have recently demonstrated that skin sympathetic nerve activity (SKNA) can be noninvasively recorded using electrocardiographic electrodes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased SKNA activation precedes tilt-induced syncope. Methods: We studied 50 patients with a history of neurocardiogenic syncope undergoing a TTT. The recorded signals were band-pass filtered at 500–1000 Hz to analyze nerve activity. Results: The average SKNA (aSKNA) value at baseline was 1.38 ± 0.38 μV in patients without syncope and 1.42 ± 0.52 μV in patients with syncope (P = .77). On upright tilt, aSKNA was 1.34 ± 0.40 μV in patients who did not have syncope and 1.39 ± 0.43 μV in patients who had syncope (P = .65). In all 14 patients with syncope, there was a surge of SKNA before an initial increase in heart rate followed by bradycardia, hypotension, and syncope. The peak aSKNA immediately (<1 minute) before syncope was significantly higher than baseline aSKNA (2.63 ± 1.22 vs 1.39 ± 0.43 μV; P = .0005). After syncope, patients were immediately placed in the supine position and aSKNA dropped significantly to 1.26 ± 0.43 μV; (P = .0004). The heart rate variability during the TTT shows a significant increase in parasympathetic tone during syncope (low-frequency/high-frequency ratio: 7.15 vs 2.21; P = .04). Conclusion: Patients with syncope do not have elevated sympathetic tone at baseline or during the TTT except immediately before syncope when there is a transient surge of SKNA followed by sympathetic withdrawal along with parasympathetic surge.",
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AU - Kumar, Awaneesh

AU - Wright, Keith

AU - Uceda, Domingo E.

AU - Vasallo, Peter A.

AU - Rabin, Perry L.

AU - Adams, David

AU - Wong, Johnson

AU - Das, Mithilesh

AU - Lin, Shien Fong

AU - Chen, Peng Sheng

AU - Everett, Thomas H.

PY - 2019/1/1

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N2 - Background: Autonomic imbalance is the proposed mechanism of syncope during a tilt table test (TTT). We have recently demonstrated that skin sympathetic nerve activity (SKNA) can be noninvasively recorded using electrocardiographic electrodes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased SKNA activation precedes tilt-induced syncope. Methods: We studied 50 patients with a history of neurocardiogenic syncope undergoing a TTT. The recorded signals were band-pass filtered at 500–1000 Hz to analyze nerve activity. Results: The average SKNA (aSKNA) value at baseline was 1.38 ± 0.38 μV in patients without syncope and 1.42 ± 0.52 μV in patients with syncope (P = .77). On upright tilt, aSKNA was 1.34 ± 0.40 μV in patients who did not have syncope and 1.39 ± 0.43 μV in patients who had syncope (P = .65). In all 14 patients with syncope, there was a surge of SKNA before an initial increase in heart rate followed by bradycardia, hypotension, and syncope. The peak aSKNA immediately (<1 minute) before syncope was significantly higher than baseline aSKNA (2.63 ± 1.22 vs 1.39 ± 0.43 μV; P = .0005). After syncope, patients were immediately placed in the supine position and aSKNA dropped significantly to 1.26 ± 0.43 μV; (P = .0004). The heart rate variability during the TTT shows a significant increase in parasympathetic tone during syncope (low-frequency/high-frequency ratio: 7.15 vs 2.21; P = .04). Conclusion: Patients with syncope do not have elevated sympathetic tone at baseline or during the TTT except immediately before syncope when there is a transient surge of SKNA followed by sympathetic withdrawal along with parasympathetic surge.

AB - Background: Autonomic imbalance is the proposed mechanism of syncope during a tilt table test (TTT). We have recently demonstrated that skin sympathetic nerve activity (SKNA) can be noninvasively recorded using electrocardiographic electrodes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that increased SKNA activation precedes tilt-induced syncope. Methods: We studied 50 patients with a history of neurocardiogenic syncope undergoing a TTT. The recorded signals were band-pass filtered at 500–1000 Hz to analyze nerve activity. Results: The average SKNA (aSKNA) value at baseline was 1.38 ± 0.38 μV in patients without syncope and 1.42 ± 0.52 μV in patients with syncope (P = .77). On upright tilt, aSKNA was 1.34 ± 0.40 μV in patients who did not have syncope and 1.39 ± 0.43 μV in patients who had syncope (P = .65). In all 14 patients with syncope, there was a surge of SKNA before an initial increase in heart rate followed by bradycardia, hypotension, and syncope. The peak aSKNA immediately (<1 minute) before syncope was significantly higher than baseline aSKNA (2.63 ± 1.22 vs 1.39 ± 0.43 μV; P = .0005). After syncope, patients were immediately placed in the supine position and aSKNA dropped significantly to 1.26 ± 0.43 μV; (P = .0004). The heart rate variability during the TTT shows a significant increase in parasympathetic tone during syncope (low-frequency/high-frequency ratio: 7.15 vs 2.21; P = .04). Conclusion: Patients with syncope do not have elevated sympathetic tone at baseline or during the TTT except immediately before syncope when there is a transient surge of SKNA followed by sympathetic withdrawal along with parasympathetic surge.

KW - Heart rate variability

KW - Nitroglycerine

KW - Skin sympathetic nerve activity

KW - Syncope

KW - Tilt table test

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