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Evaluation of autonomic nervous function in patients with essential hypertension complicated with peptic ulcer


Correspondence: DrMNomura Second Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tokushima, 2-50 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima, 770-8503 Japan. Email:


Background and Aims: The relationship between peptic ulcer, autonomic activity and the incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection in untreated hypertensive patients complicated with peptic ulcer were evaluated.

Methods: Ten hypertensive patients with peptic ulcer (HT-PU group), 15 untreated essential hypertensive patients without peptic ulcer (HT group) and 10 normal subjects (N group) were enrolled, and a power spectral analysis was performed in each subject. A biopsy urease test was used to detect infection by H. pylori.

Results: No significant differences were observed in the values of mean low-frequency (LF) power between the three groups. However, the mean high-frequency (HF) power in the HT-PU group was significantly greater than those of the HT and N groups (P < 0.01). The mean LF/HF ratios in the HT-PU and HT groups were significantly greater than that of the N group (P < 0.01). With respect to H. pylori infection, no significant differences between the three groups were observed. Sympathetic activity (LF power) was increased in the HT and HT-PU groups. Furthermore, parasympathetic activity (HF power) was increased in the HT-PU group.

Conclusions: These findings suggest the participation of increased parasympathetic activity in peptic ulcer patients. Therefore, it is suggested that new techniques, such as spectral analysis of heart rate variability, as used in this study, will clarify the relationship between peptic ulcer and autonomic nervous function.