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Pseudocholinesterase activity increases and heart rate variability decreases with preoperative anxiety

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 April 2005

T. Ledowski
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
B. Bein
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
R. Hanss
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
P. H. Tonner
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
N. Roller
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
J. Scholz
Affiliation:
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
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Abstract

Summary

Background and objective: The objective of this study was to determine the influence of preoperative anxiety on the activity of plasma cholinesterase and heart rate (HR) variability.

Methods: A total of 50 subjects were studied, 25 male patients one day preoperatively and 25 male volunteers without surgical intervention as a control group. Blood samples were taken to determine plasma cholinesterase activity. HR variability was recorded for a period of 256 beat-to-beat intervals and analysed by frequency domain analysis into very low frequency (VLF: 0.02–0.04 Hz), low frequency (LF: 0.04–0.15 Hz) and high frequency (HF: 0.15–0.4 Hz). LF/HF ratio and total power over the 0.02–0.4 Hz range were calculated. Anxiety levels were assessed using the hospital anxiety and depression scale, the self-rating anxiety scale and a visual analogue scale.

Results: The patient group had significantly higher anxiety scores. Plasma cholinesterase activity was significantly higher in patients vs. controls (6646 vs. 5324 units L−1). Total power, LF and HF were significantly lower in the patients (1489 vs. 2581 ms2; 656 vs. 1186 ms2; 491 vs. 964 ms2, respectively).

Conclusions: Preoperative anxiety increases plasma cholinesterase activity and decreases HR variability.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
2005 European Society of Anaesthesiology

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