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Functional asymmetry in carotid sinus cardiac reflexes in humans

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Summary

The reflex cardiac response to activation (CBA) and inactivation (CBI) of the left and right carotid baroreceptors was studied in 30 healthy subjects, aged between 24 and 38 years. The CBA was evoked by applying negative pressure (from −20 to −60 mmHg) for 10 s to the left and right carotid sinus regions separately or both together, using two small neck capsules. The CBI was produced by applying left and right positive neck pressure (from 20 to 60 mmHg) for 10 s. The blood flow velocity was measured non-invasively with a Doppler scanner placed in the suprasternal notch. Blood flow acceleration was calculated and used as an indication of left cardiac contractility. Heart rate was measured continuously. Differences were found between right and left carotid sinus responses to CBA and CBI. The maximal response of the R-R interval was significantly greater during right CBA than during left CBA (the average gain: R-R·mmHg−1 2.69 ms·mmHg−1 and 1.75 ms·mmHg−1 respectively). Also, the reflex CBI response was significantly greater for the right (3.16 ms·mmHg−1) than for the left (2.22 ms·mmHg−1 The reflex decrease/increase in blood-flow acceleration in response to CBA/CBI was significantly greater during left than during right-sided activation/inactivation. It is suggested that the functional asymmetry was related to differences in right/left-sided cardiac innervation as well as to central ipsilateral projection of the carotid baroreceptor afferents to the nuclei tractus solitarii.

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Research fellow from the A. von Humboldt Foundation from the Department of Physiology, Medical Academy, Warsaw, Poland

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Tafil-Klawe, M., Raschke, F. & Hildebrandt, G. Functional asymmetry in carotid sinus cardiac reflexes in humans. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 60, 402–405 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00713507

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