Heart rate variability as a predictor of death in burn patients

Michael J. Loguidice, Robert C. Schutt, Jureta W. Horton, Joseph P. Minei, Ellen C. Keeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Heart rate variability (HRV), a noninvasive technique used to quantify fluctuations in the interval between normal heart beats (NN), is a predictor of mortality in some patient groups. The aim of this study was to assess HRV in burn trauma patients as a predictor of mortality. The authors prospectively performed 24-hour Holter monitoring on burn patients and collected demographic information, burn injury details, and in-hospital clinical events. Analysis of HRV in the time and frequency domains was performed. A total of 40 burn patients with a mean age of 44 ± 15 years were enrolled. Mean %TBSA burn was 27 ± 22% for the overall population and was significantly higher in those who died compared with those who survived (55 ± 23% vs 19 ± 13%; P <.0001). There was a statistically significant inverse linear correlation between SD of NN intervals and %TBSA (r = -.337, R2 = 0.113, 95% CI = -0.587 to -0.028, two-tailed P =.034), as well as with ultra low frequency power and %TBSA burn (r = -0.351, R2 = 0.123, 95% CI = -0.152 to -0.009; P =.027). The receiver-operator characteristic showed the area under the curve for %TBSA as a predictor of death was 0.82 (P <.001), for SDANN was 0.94 (P <.0001), and for ultra low frequency power was 0.96 (P <.0001). Deranged HRV in the early postburn period is a strong predictor of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e227-e233
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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