Cardiac autonomic dysfunction (CAD) has been reported in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This systematic review summarizes the evidence for the types and prevalence of CAD in MS patients, as well as its association with MS type, disease characteristics, fatigue and immunotherapies used to treat MS. The analysis revealed that CAD is correlated with pathophysiological processes of MS, can trigger serious cardiovascular complications that may reduce life expectancy, and may have implications for treatment with immunotherapies, especially fingolimod. Numerous mainly small case-control or cohort studies have reported various measures of CAD (particularly heart rate variation) in MS patients, showing higher rates of abnormality versus controls. A smaller number of studies have reported on cardiac autonomic symptoms in MS, including orthostatic intolerance/dizziness in around 50% of patients. CAD also appears to be associated with disease duration and to be more common in progressive than relapsing-remitting MS. However, although a substantial evidence base suggests that assessing CAD in people with MS may be important, standardised methods to evaluate CAD in these patients have not yet been established. In addition, no studies have yet looked at whether treating CAD can reduce the burden of MS symptoms, disease activity or the rate of progression.
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)cardiac autonomic dysfunction