Arterial baroreflex function and cardiovascular variability: Interactions and implications

Paola A. Lanfranchi, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

210 Scopus citations


The arterial baroreflex contributes importantly to the short-term regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular variability. A number of factors (including reflex, humoral, behavioral, and environmental) may influence gain and effectiveness of the baroreflex, as well as cardiovascular variability. Many central neural structures are also involved in the regulation of the cardiovascular system and contribute to the integrity of the baroreflex. Consequently, brain injuries or ischemia may induce baroreflex impairment and deranged cardiovascular variability. Baroreflex dysfunction and deranged cardiovascular variability are also common findings in cardiovascular disease. A blunted baroreflex gain and impaired heart rate variability are predictive of poor outcome in patients with heart failure and myocardial infarction and may represent an early index of autonomic activation in left ventricular dysfunction. The mechanisms mediating these relationships are not well understood and may in part be the result of cardiac structural changes and/or altered central neural processing of baroreflex signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R815-R826
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 52-4
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Baroreflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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