Diminished Baroreflex Sensitivity in High Blood Pressure
Sudden intravenous injections of small amounts of angiotensin or phenylephrine were given to 30 subjects to produce modest, brief increases in directly measured systemic arterial pressure. A plot of each systolic pressure against the second succeeding cardiac cycle length produced a linear distribution, the slope of which was expressed as the millisecond increase in cycle length per mm Hg rise in systolic pressure. The slope is an index of baroreflex sensitivity and was found to have an average value of 12.8 in 18 subjects without hypertension and 2.8 in 12 others with hypertension. When all results were pooled, there was an inverse relationship between the resting mean arterial pressure and slope of the baroreflex regression lines. The findings demonstrate reduced sensitivity of the baroreflexes in hypertension, with respect to control of heart rate. A distinction is made between this change in sensitivity and simple resetting of the reflex.
- © 1969 American Heart Association, Inc.