2000 Volume 64 Issue 11 Pages 809-813
Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) can identify patients at risk of sudden cardiac death after myocardial infarction. The present study examined the effect of 2 weeks of supervised aerobic exercise training on the recovery of the autonomic nervous activity, exercise capacity, and cardiac output (CO) after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Twenty-eight patients were randomly divided into the training group or the control group and performed exercise tests at 1 week, 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after CABG. The HRV was measured, and the high-frequency component of HRV was used as an index of parasympathetic nerve activity (PNA); the plasma norepinephrine concentration (NE) was used as an index of sympathetic nervous activity. Cardiac output was also measured. In the training group, peak VO2, peak CO and PNA during exercise had improved at 3 weeks, but there was no improvement in these indices in the control group. NE decreased 1 week after CABG in both groups. These results indicate that physical training soon after CABG improves not only the exercise capacity, but also PNA.