Autonomic Nervous Tone in Vitiligo Patients – A Case-control Study
Eva-Maria Trapp, Michael Trapp, Francesca Sampogna, Peter Michael Rohrer, Josef Wilhelm Egger, Peter Wolf, Hans-Peter Kapfhammer, Michael Dennis Linder, Erika Richtig, Johannes Baulmann, Angelika Hofer
In this cross-sectional, exploratory case-control study the vegetative arousal in vitiligo patients compared to an age and gender matched healthy control group was assessed. Forty-eight participants (24 outpatients with generalised vitiligo and 24 healthy controls) completed a test procedure consisting of an initial period of rest (R1), a defined mental stress task (the d2 test of attention), a second period of rest (R2) followed by an individually, age adapted physical stress task (bicycle ergometry) and a final period of rest (R3). Based on a continuously recorded electrocardiogram, heart rate variability, in particular high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) components were determined. Within the 3 periods of rest, vitiligo patients showed a higher vegetative arousal than controls, represented by the ratio of LF/HF which mirrors the sympatho-vagal balance (R1: p = 0.027; R2: p = 0.003; R3: p = 0.029). No differences between the 2 groups were found during the mental (p = 0.187) and the physical stress task (p = 0.773). The results suggest a higher vegetative arousal in vitiligo patients.