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Yu-Jin Choi 1 Article
Role of the Baseline Heart Rate Variability to the Effect of the Huanglian-Jie-Du Granule in Hwa-Byung Patients: Supplementary Analysis from the Randomized Trial Comparing Huanglian-Jie-Du Granule and Placebo for Hwa-Byung
Yu-Jin Choi, Seung-Hun Cho
STRESS. 2018;26(4):305-311.   Published online December 31, 2018
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Abstract PDF

The purpose of the study was to explore whether the effect of Huanglian-jie-du granule depends on the baseline heart rate variability in patients with Hwa-byung.


We used the supplementary data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Huanglian-jie-du granule for Hwa-byung patients. Study drugs were taken orally three times per day for one week. Heart rate variability was measured three times; before the treatment, after the treatment, and month follow-up period. Spearman’s rho test was done to explore the role of the baseline heart rate variability to the effect of Huanglian-jie-du granule.


Baseline low frequency power of heart rate variability was negatively correlated with the reduction of the insomnia severity index in experimental group (r=−0.493 p=0.02). Also, Huanglian-jie-de granule significantly decreased the low frequency power of heart rate variability in patients with Hwa-byung compared to placebo (mean difference 266 [95% CI: 29∼503], p=0.028). In Hwa-byung symptoms, stuffy, pushing up in the chest, and flush of anger were correlated with low frequency power of heart rate variability (p=0.010, p=0.000, and p=0.016, respectively).


The effect of the Huanglian-jie-de granule for insomnia seems to be lower when the baseline low frequency power of heart rate variability is higher in Hwa-byung patients. Also, Huanglian-jie-de granule is likely to decrease the sympathetic activity in patients with Hwa-byung. Measurement of heart rate variability may be the useful to understand the state of Hwa-byung patients.