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Autonomic regulation of the heart and arrhythmogenesis in trained breath-hold divers

Abstract : Breath-hold divers are known to develop cardiac autonomic changes and brady-arrthymias during prolonged breath-holding (BH). The effects of BH-induced hypoxemia were investigated upon both cardiac autonomic status and arrhythmogenesis by comparing breath-hold divers (BHDs) to non-divers (NDs). Eighteen participants (9 BHDs, 9 NDs) performed a maximal voluntary BH with face immersion. BHDs were asked to perform an additional BH at water surface to increase the degree of hypoxemia. Beat-to-beat changes in heart rate (HR), short-term fractal scaling exponent (DFA alpha 1), the number of arrhythmic events [premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), premature atrial contractions (PACs)] and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO(2)) were recorded during and immediately following BH. The corrected QT-intervals (QTc) were analyzed pre- and post-acute BH. A regression-based model was used to split BH into a normoxic (NX) and a hypoxemic phase (HX). During the HX phase of BH, BHDs showed a progressive decrease in DFA alpha 1 during BH with face immersion (p < 0.01) and BH with whole-body immersion (p < 0.01) whereas NDs did not (p > 0.05). In addition, BHDs had more arrhythmic events during the HX of BH with whole-body immersion when compared to the corresponding NX phase (5.9 +/- 6.7 vs 0.4 +/- 1.3; p < 0.05; respectively). The number of PVCs was negatively correlated with SpO(2) during BH with whole-body immersion (r = -0.72; p < 0.05). The hypoxemic stage of voluntary BH is concomitant with significant cardiac autonomic changes toward a synergistic sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation. Co-activation led ultimately to increased bradycardic response and cardiac electrophysiological disturbances.
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Soumis le : mercredi 2 mars 2022 - 17:11:02
Dernière modification le : vendredi 5 août 2022 - 11:22:27



Guillaume Costalat, Benedicte Godin, Bryce N. Balmain, Clara Moreau, Emily Brotherton, et al.. Autonomic regulation of the heart and arrhythmogenesis in trained breath-hold divers. European Journal of Sport Science, Taylor & Francis, 2021, 21 (3), pp.439-449. ⟨10.1080/17461391.2020.1749313⟩. ⟨hal-03594598⟩



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