Reflex Control of the Systemic Venous Bed
Effects on Venous of Vasoactive Drugs, and of Baroreceptor and Chemoreceptor Stimulation
In a series of investigations on the control of venous tone, it was shown in anesthetized, open-chest dogs on cardiopulmonary bypass that venoconstriction occurs during the infusions of norepinephrine and epinephrine, while trimethaphan results in venodilatation. Lowering the pressure acting on the carotid baroreceptors and on the receptors within the left atrium and left ventricle results in reflex venoconstriction, while stimulation of these receptors relaxes the veins. Hypoxia produces venoconstriction as a result of stimulation of the carotid chemoreceptors, but the veno constriction which results from hypercapnia evidently is primarily central in origin. Reflex venoconstriction to carotid occlusion and central vagal stimulation can be blocked by the administration of guanethidine and reserpine. In intact, unanesthetized human subjects, to whom these drugs were administered orally in doses which are commonly utilized in clinical practice, reflex venoconstriction of the forearm veins was blocked. These investigations emphasize that the systemic venous bed reacts vigorously to neural and humoral stimuli, and that these reactions profoundly alter the cardiac output. In this manner, by exerting control of the rate at which the blood is delivered into the systemic arterial bed, the venous side of the circulation plays an important role in the control of the arterial pressure as well.
- © 1963 American Heart Association, Inc.