Reflex control of sympathetic activity during ventricular tachycardia in dogs: Primary role of arterial baroreflexes

Michael L. Smith, Toru Kinugawa, Mark E. Dibner-Dunlap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: The determinants of hemodynamic outcome during ventricular tachycardia (VT) are not well understood. In the present study, we addressed the relative contributions of arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflexes to the sympathetic and arterial pressure responses to VT or ventricular pacing (VP) in dogs with inducible VT. Methods and Results: Responses of renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) to induced VT or VP (220 to 280 beats per minute) were determined in 12 dogs with a healed anteroapical infarction and inducible VT and in 8 control dogs. The responses were determined with all reflexes intact, after selective denervation of either arterial or cardiopulmonary baroreflexes, and after combined denervation. Differences between intact and denervated conditions were used to assess the relative effects of each baroreflex. In the infarct group, responses during VT were comparable to those during VP. RSNA and PCWP increased significantly (P<.01), whereas MAP decreased significantly (P<.001) during VT or VP with baroreflexes intact in both groups. The increase in RSNA and the recovery of MAP during sustained VP were greater in the infarct group (P<.05); in addition, the increase in PCWP was greater in the infarct group (P<.05). Arterial baroreflex denervation abolished the increased RSNA and recovery of MAP during VP in both groups. After cardiopulmonary baroreflex denervation, the increase in RSNA was augmented in both groups (control group more than infarct group), but recovery of MAP was increased further only in the control group. Conclusions: These results suggest that arterial baroreflex-mediated sympathoexcitation plays an important role in determining the hemodynamic outcome during VT, whereas cardiopulmonary baroreflexes play only a modest modulatory role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1042
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1996


  • arrhythmia
  • baroreceptors
  • death, sudden
  • nervous system, autonomic


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