OBJECTIVE: Heart rate variability (HRV) oscillations are used in the detection of autonomic instabilities in various clinical disorders.
METHODS: We compared the HRV as a possible marker of chronic distress in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with HRV frequencies in the healthy controls. Participants were 29 children with IBD (19 Crohn's disease and 10 ulcerative colitis), 25 children were in remission and 4 presented mild disease activity. They were compared with the control group of 35 healthy children of the same age (13-16 years-old).
RESULTS: In HRV assessment, adolescents with IBD had significantly lower levels of the spectral activity in an LF band in all three positions; lower levels of VLF in both supine positions; and the ratio of the spectral activity at LF/HF was significantly lower in the second post (standing).
CONCLUSION: These results indicate children with IBD have less adaptability to stress.