Vasovagal tonus index (VVTI) is an indirect measure of heart rate variability and may serve as a marker of disease severity. Higher heart rate variability has predicted lower tumour burden and improved survival in humans with various tumour types. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate VVTI as a biomarker of remission status in canine lymphoma. The primary hypothesis was that VVTI would be increased in dogs in remission compared to dogs out of remission. Twenty-seven dogs were prospectively enrolled if they had a diagnosis of intermediate to high-grade lymphoma and underwent multidrug chemotherapy. Serial electrocardiogram data were collected under standard conditions and relationships between VVTI, remission status and other clinical variables were evaluated. VVTI from dogs in remission (partial or complete) did not differ from dogs with fulminant lymphoma (naive or at time of relapse). Dogs in partial remission had higher VVTI than dogs in complete remission (p = 0.021). Higher baseline VVTI was associated with higher subsequent scores (p < 0.001). VVTI also correlated with anxiety level (p = 0.03). Based on this pilot study, VVTI did not hold any obvious promise as a useful clinical biomarker of remission status. Further investigation may better elucidate the clinical and prognostic utility of VVTI in dogs with lymphoma.
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© 2017, The Author(s).
- Heart rate
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article