Pseudocholinesterase activity increases and heart rate variability decreases with preoperative anxiety

Thomas Ledowski, B. Bein, R. Hanss, P.H. Tonner, N. Roller, J. Scholz

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    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. 5 324 units L-1). Total power, LF and HF were significantly lower in the patients (1489 vs. 2581 ms(2); 656 vs. 1186 ms(2); 491 vs. 964 ms(2), respectively).Conclusions: Preoperative anxiety increases plasma cholinesterase activity and decreases HR variability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-292
    JournalEuropean Journal of Anaesthesiology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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