Control of total systemic vascular capacity by the carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex

A. A. Shoukas, K. Sagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


To attain a quantitative understanding of carotid sinus baroreceptor reflex control of cardiac output the authors studied the reflex control of total systemic vascular capacity in vagotomized dogs. In experiments measuring blood volume shifts caused by the carotid sinus reflex (series 1), venous return was diverted into a reservoir while cardiac output and central venous pressure were maintained at constant levels. The pressure in the isolated carotid sinuses (ISP) was lowered or raised in 25 mm Hg steps between 75 and 200 mm Hg. This procedure mobilized blood into or out of the reservoir, indicating a decrease or an increase in total vascular capacity, respectively. The mean maximum volume shift, 3.6 ml/kg body weight, occurred in the same ISP region, 135±12.5 mm Hg, where reflex control of total peripheral resistance was strongest. The total volume shift was approximately 7.5 ml/kg for ISP changes from 75 to 200 mm Hg. When mean arterial blood pressure was maintained constant during the ISP step changes, the volume shift almost doubled. In experiments measuring the reflex effect on total systemic vascular compliance (series 2) and in experiments determining the reflex control of arterial complicance (series 3), total systemic vascular and lumped arterial compliances were measured in the same dogs that were used in series 1 experiments. The total systemic vascular and arterial compliances were approximately 2.0 ml/mm Hg kg-1 and 0.0677 ml/mm Hg kg-1, respectively. The reflex did not affect these compliances. The authors concluded that the reflex controls the total systemic venous capacity to a degree that changes output potentially by 30-40% per 25 mm Hg change in ISP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-33
Number of pages12
JournalCirculation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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