DOI: 10.4103/ija.ija_722_23 ISSN: 0019-5049

Prevalence and predictors of preoperative cardiac autonomic dysfunction among elective neurosurgical patients: A prospective observational study

RP Sangeetha, Dhritiman Chakrabarti, Kamath Sriganesh, Musumur Mahendranath, Sathyaprabha TN, Dwarakanath Srinivas
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Background and Aims:

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is cardinal for systemic homeostasis. Autonomic dysfunction is prevalent in as high as 65% of patients presenting for cardiac surgery in the Indian scenario. Pre-existing cardiac autonomic dysfunction (CAD) in surgical patients can accentuate perioperative haemodynamic fluctuations during stressful intraoperative events, predispose to adverse cardiac events, and contribute to morbidity and mortality. The prevalence and predictors of CAD in the elective neurosurgical population are unknown in the Indian scenario. The current study was conducted to bridge this knowledge gap.


In this single-centre prospective observational study conducted at a tertiary care neurosciences centre, among 400 consenting adult patients of either gender, between 18 and 80 years of age, undergoing elective neurosurgery, the preoperative ANS function at the bedside was assessed as the primary outcome measure. The ANS status was evaluated using ANSiscope™-derived indices of heart rate variability. The diagnosis of CAD was made when the ANS index exceeded a threshold of 13.5. Data regarding predictors of CAD were collected from patient records as the secondary outcome measure. Statistical analysis was done using the R software. A P-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


The prevalence of preoperative CAD in our study population was 79.7% (319/400 patients). None of the demographic and baseline clinical characteristics we studied predicted CAD in our study.


We observed a significant prevalence of preoperative CAD among elective neurosurgical patients. None of the parameters we evaluated predicted CAD in our study.

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