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Circ Res. 1977 Sep;41(3):309-15.

Circulatory reflexes from carotid and extracarotid baroreceptor areas in man.


The carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex was studied in 11 normotensive subjects, using a variable pressure neck chamber and correcting for imperfect pressure transmission to the carotid sinus. Decreased carotid baroreceptor stimulation caused a sustaineded rise in arterial pressure, and increased carotid baroreceptor stimulation caused a sustain fall. The responses were in linear relation to the stimulus, and, after reaching the steady state, greater for the reduced than for the increased baroreceptor stimulation. Thus the carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex of the normotensive man is an effective antihypotensive and antihypertensive feedback system, though the former function may have more sensitivity. The increased and decreased baroreceptor stimulation by the neck chamber also caused bradycardia and tachycardia which were modest in magnitude and often transient. In eight subjects the reflex changes in heart rate induced by the neck chamber were compared with those induced by altering transmural pressure not merely at the carotid sinus but throughout the arterial tree (injection of phenylephrine and trinitroglycerin). The slopes of these relations were 3 times as great in the latter circumstance. Thus the carotid baroreceptors play a lesser role in heart rate control than do extracarotid baroreceptors.

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