Studies in Man on the Relationship of Adrenergic Correlates to Pressor Responsivity
A study was designed to examine the adrenergic contribution to cardiovascular responsiveness to acute stimuli, with particular attention to the pressor component of this response. Data indicated a dissociation between pressor responses, catecholamine excretion, and FFA elaboration which can be summarized as follows:
1. The same stimulus (ischemic pain) given on different days, produced the same pressor responses but with an apparent decrease in adrenergic activation.
2. Different stimuli on the same day (ischemic pain and cold pressor) gave pressor responses of different magnitude, but adrenergic activation was not consistently greater with the greater pressor response.
3. Different stimuli given on different days maintained a consistent difference in pressor responses. However, adrenergic activation may have correlated with the order of presentation, rather than the nature of the stimulus or the response.
4. Among other implications from this discordancy between cardiovascular reactivity and adrenergic activation are the following: (a) Factors other than the autonomic nervous system (ANS) may be important in the mediation of pressor response, particularly to such stimuli as ischemic pain, and (b) the ANS response itself may more closely correlate with emotional factors concomitant to the stimulus, than to the stimulus itself. Finally, the results point up the inappropriateness of using cardiovascular responsiveness as a precise indicator of activation of the ANS in physiological and psychophysiological studies.
- © 1966 American Heart Association, Inc.