Volume 19 Supplement 2

Eighth International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine for Latin America

Open Access

Heart rate variability in HIV-infected and AIDS

  • Gabriela AM Galdino1,
  • Fernanda R Moraes1,
  • Gesileny V Silva1 and
  • Marilita F Accioly1
Critical Care201519(Suppl 2):P6


Published: 28 September 2015


The availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in a dramatic reduction in HIV-associated mortality [1]. However, it is also known to induce an array of adverse effects [24], as autonomic dysfunction. The use of heart rate variability (HRV), allows the assessment of relative contribution of sympathetic and parasympathetic involvement [1].


The objective of this study was to assess the presence of autonomic dysfunction in HIV-infected and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients that receive ART. In order to do so, analysis of HRV was applied.


A total of 15 subjects with HIV and 34 with AIDS were analyzed. To capture HRV, the heart rate monitor Polar RS810CX was used. The HRV was recorded in a supine position for 20 minutes, and then while performing the respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). The statistical analysis was calculated using ANOVA and Pearson correlation (α = 5%).


The HIV group had average duration of exposure to the virus of 4.5 ± 3.5 years, and the AIDS group 12.6 ± 6.6 years, both under ART. Only the %REC presented suggestive statistically significant difference (Table 1) of greater parasympathetic modulation in the AIDS group, while the RSA did not show a statistically significant difference (p >0.05).
Table 1

Time domain analysis.

HRV parameter (ms/%)





18.5 (11.5)

23.7 (17)



3.9 (6.8)

6.9 (9.9)



38.3 (11.2)

32.7 (6.7)


Data presented as mean (SD)


Based on chaos theory, %REC was more sensitive to identify lower parasympathetic modulation in the HIV group, probably due to shorter exposure to antiretroviral therapy. Therefore, it is suggested that the medication used by the population modifies the HRV.



Supported by FAPEMIG.

Authors’ Affiliations

Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro


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© Galdino et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.