Dr. H.K. Bali - Cardiologist, Chandigarh

Dr. H.K. Bali

Director Cardioloy, Fortis Mohali

Areas of Expertise: Angioplasty, Coronary Intervention

Connect with me: | | |

Autonomic functions in restrictive cardiomyopathy and constrictive pericardititis: A comparison


This study was undertaken to analyze autonomic functions in restrictive cardiomyopathies. Restrictive cardiomyopathies have clinical and hemodynamic similarity with chronic constrictive pericarditis. Autonomic dysfunction has been described in the latter.


Autonomic function analysis has not been reported in restrictive cardiomyopathy. Six consecutive patients with restrictive cardiomyopathy were included in this study (5 men, 1 woman, mean age 35+/-5.4 years). The tests performed were designed to test the sympathetic efferent pathway, that is, by cold hand immersion and loud noise tests, the parasympathetic efferent pathway by Valsalva ratio and expiration/inspiration ratio and the baroreceptor function by testing their sensitivity slope. The results were compared with 20 patients with chronic constrictive pericarditis and with 10 healthy age- and sex-matched control subjects previously studied. The rise of systolic blood pressure after cold hand immersion and the sudden loud noise was not significantly different compared with control subjects. The expiration/inspiration ratio was 1.1+/-0.01 compared with 1.57+/-0.1 in the control group (p < 0.01). The Valsalva ratio was significantly lower (1.1+/-0.04) compared with control subjects (1.83+/-0.1, p < 0.01). The baroreceptor sensitivity was not reduced compared with that in control subjects. In comparison to constrictive pericarditis, the sympathetic efferent pathway is preserved in restrictive cardiomyopathy (p < 0.0001). The parasympathetic efferent pathway is borderline abnormal in restrictive cardiomyopathy but not significantly as compared with constrictive pericarditis (p=not significant). The baroreceptor sensitivity slope is normal in patients with restrictive cardiomyopathy as compared with significant depression seen in constrictive pericarditis (p < 0.05). Autonomic functions are better preserved in patients with restrictive cardiomyopathies compared with chronic constrictive pericarditis.


Autonomic dysfunction is localized to the parasympathetic efferent pathway. This is in comparison to constrictive pericarditis, in which severe autonomic dysfunction is a universal feature and includes all segments of the autonomic nervous system


Mandeep Singh, Rajnish Juneja, Harinder K. Bali and Jagmohan S. Varma; Autonomic functions in restrictive cardiomyopathy and constrictive pericarditis: A comparison; American Heart Journal 1998 Vol. 136, Number 3, 443-448. (0.021)