Cardiovascular Reflexes from Stretch of Pulmonary Vein-Atrial Junctions in the Dog
The reflex cardiovascular response to stretch of left pulmonary vein-atrial junctions was studied in anesthetized dogs in which both aortic nerves were cut and the carotid sinuses were isolated vascularly. After thoracotomy, the root of the left lung was tied and a small Silastic balloon (1.5-cm long), attached to a nylon catheter, was inserted into each of the three left pulmonary veins and tied so that its tip lay at the junction of the vein with the left atrium. In six dogs, heart rate response to balloon distension of 2.0 ml was studied over a range of initial heart rates (75 to 240 beats/min) achieved by varying the carotid sinus pressure. On distension of the balloons, slowing occurred if the initial heart rate was > 140 to 150 beats/min and acceleration if it were less. In eight dogs, aortic blood pressure and cardiac output measured before, during, and after balloon distension (0.25 to 2.0 ml) demonstrated a hyperbolic relationship between balloon volume and decrease in calculated systemic vascular resistance. All responses were abolished by vagotomy. The reflex vasodilatation was sustained and caused by decreased adrenergic activity; the reflex bradycardia or tachycardia was due to interplay of vagal and sympathetic cardiac efferents.
- Received September 18, 1970.
- Accepted October 19, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.