21 May 2022
31 May 2022
Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a major complication of pregnancy that could lead to maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. The analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that provides important information about autonomic functioning and individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present study was to compare the frequency and time domain heart rate variability parameters in pre-eclampsia (PE) with that of normal healthy (NP), as a measure of the autonomic functions. This was a case-control study. Pregnant women diagnosed to have pre-eclampsia according to ACOG guidelines and aged 18-35 years were included as cases. Healthy pregnant women, matched for age, gravida and gestational weeks were included as controls. Gestational age was calculated from first trimester USG. Blood pressure was recorded using a mercury sphygmomanometer (Diamond). Heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) was recorded by Powerlab (AD instruments). HRV analysis was done in the frequency and time domains. Statistical analysis was done using Student’s t test. There was a significant increase in the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, low frequency (LF) domain, LF/HF ratio and a decrease in high frequency (HF) components of the HRV analysis in pre-eclampsia. The time domain parameters of HRV, SDNN, SDANN, RMSSD and pNN50%, showed a fall in preeclampsia. Sympathetic over activity combined with parasympathetic withdrawal is seen in pre- eclampsia, which may suggest cardiovascular risk in these patients. Autonomic function testing of heart rate variability may be used as a tool for early diagnosis, management and prevention of future cardiovascular diseases in pre-eclampsia women.