Intrapericardial denervation: Radial artery blood flow and heart rate responses to LBNP

K. H. McKeever, M. G. Skidmore, L. C. Keil, H. Sandler

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Eight rhesus monkeys were used to study responses of radial artery blood flow velocity (RABFV) and heart rate (HR) to low (0 to -20 mmHg) and high (0 to -60 mmHg) ramp exposures during supine lower body negative pressure (LBNP). These levels were chosen to separate peripheral vascular responses associated with stimulation of low- and high-pressure baroreceptors. Four monkeys had efferent and afferent cardiac denervation by use of the Randall procedure with pharmacological (phenylephrine and atropine) verification. Animals were studied 3 wk after surgery to avoid reinnervation. Findings were compared with those of four identically treated intact animals. Denervated animals showed no change in RABFV or HR during low-level LBNP; however, HR increased significantly (P < 0.05) when LBNP reached -50 mmHg and blood flow velocity also fell (P < 0.05) starting at -30 mmHg pressure. In contrast, intact animals showed steady decreases in RABFV during both high- and low-pressure , with HR showing a 6-beat/min increase (P < 0.05) starting at -20 mmHg pressure. As with denervated animals, intact animals showed a more pronounced increase in HR after reaching a level of -60-mmHg suction. Cardiac output (electromagnetic flowmeter, ascending aorta) fell significantly in both groups starting at -30 mmHg pressure. Left ventricular pressure (Konigsberg pressure cell) in three intact animals showed a progressive fall in systolic pressure starting at -10 mmHg suction, which became significant at -55 mmHg pressure. These results demonstrate that cardiac denervation by use of the Randall technique significantly affects RABFV and HR responses to LBNP in rhesus monkeys. The lack of RABFV change during LBNP in denervated animals suggests that these changes coupled with HR response can be used as an effective method to verify the completeness of denervation of low-pressure baroreceptors in animals that have undergone intrapericardial denervation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2208-2213
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • baroreceptors
  • cardiac denervation


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