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Abnormal heart rate recovery and deficient chronotropic response after submaximal exercise in young Marfan syndrome patients

  • Paulo Peres (a1) (a2), Antônio C. Carvalho (a1), Ana Beatriz A. Perez (a3) (a4) and Wladimir M. Medeiros (a1) (a5)



Marfan syndrome patients present important cardiac structural changes, ventricular dysfunction, and electrocardiographic changes. An abnormal heart rate response during or after exercise is an independent predictor of mortality and autonomic dysfunction. The aim of the present study was to compare heart rate recovery and chronotropic response obtained by cardiac reserve in patients with Marfan syndrome subjected to submaximal exercise.


A total of 12 patients on β-blocker therapy and 13 off β-blocker therapy were compared with 12 healthy controls. They were subjected to submaximal exercise with lactate measurements. The heart rate recovery was obtained in the first minute of recovery and corrected for cardiac reserve and peak lactate concentration.


Peak heart rate (141±16 versus 155±17 versus 174±8 bpm; p=0.001), heart rate reserve (58.7±9.4 versus 67.6±14.3 versus 82.6±4.8 bpm; p=0.001), heart rate recovery (22±6 versus 22±8 versus 34±9 bpm; p=0.001), and heart rate recovery/lactate (3±1 versus 3±1 versus 5±1 bpm/mmol/L; p=0.003) were different between Marfan groups and controls, respectively. All the patients with Marfan syndrome had heart rate recovery values below the mean observed in the control group. The absolute values of heart rate recovery were strongly correlated with the heart rate reserve (r=0.76; p=0.001).


Marfan syndrome patients have reduced heart rate recovery and chronotropic deficit after submaximal exercise, and the chronotropic deficit is a strong determinant of heart rate recovery. These changes are suggestive of autonomic dysfunction.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: W. M. Medeiros, Pneumology Department, Pulmonary Function and Clinical Exercise Physiology Unit (SEFICE), Federal University of São Paulo, Rua Professor Francisco de Castro 54, Vila Clementino, São Paulo, CEP: 04050-020, Brasil. Tel: +55 11 5082 4420; Fax: 55 11 5082 4420; E-mail:


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Abnormal heart rate recovery and deficient chronotropic response after submaximal exercise in young Marfan syndrome patients

  • Paulo Peres (a1) (a2), Antônio C. Carvalho (a1), Ana Beatriz A. Perez (a3) (a4) and Wladimir M. Medeiros (a1) (a5)


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