To quantitatively understand how the carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex modifies the Starling curve (i.e., the aortic flow (AF) mean right atrial pressure (MRAP) relationship), experiments were performed in closed chest, naturally breathing, and anesthetized dogs before and after vagotomy. Mean aortic pressure (MAP) was fixed at approximately 100 mm Hg and the pressure in the isolated carotid sinus (ISP) was varied from 75 to 150 mm Hg in steps of 25 mm Hg. At each ISP, MRAP was slowly increased and decreased while measuring AF by a previously implanted electromagnetic flow probe. A family of AF MRAP relation curves specified at the different ISP's were thus obtained. Third order polynomials in MRAP and ISP adequately fit these curves. Whether the vagi were intact or cut, there was no significant difference between the AF MRAP relation curves obtained at an ISP of 75 or 100 mm Hg. However, decreasing ISP from 125 to 100 mm Hg caused a 24% increase in AF, and increasing ISP to 150 mm Hg caused a 15% decrease in AF in the dogs with intact vagus nerves. For the vagotomized dogs, the same decrease or increase in ISP caused a 17% increase or a 21% decrease in AF, respectively. When MAP was allowed to change by the reflex, only insignificant changes in AF occurred. The authors conclude that the carotid sinus reflex significantly alters the flow generating ability of the heart lung compartment by as much as 40% but this becomes clearly observable only if the reflex change in aortic pressure is prevented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine