Whole body heat stress (WBH) results in numerous cardiovascular alterations that ultimately reduce orthostatic tolerance. While impaired carotid baroreflex (CBR) function during WBH has been reported as a potential reason for this decrement, study design considerations may limit interpretation of previous findings. We sought to test the hypothesis that CBR function is unaltered during WBH. CBR function was assessed in 10 healthy male subjects (age: 26 ± 3; height: 185 ± 7 cm; weight: 82 ± 10 kg; BMI: 24 ± 3 kg/m2; means ± SD) using 5-s trials of neck pressure (+45, +30, and +15 Torr) and neck suction (−20, −40, −60, and −80 Torr) during normothermia (NT) and passive WBH (Δ core temp ∼1°C). Analyses of stimulus response curves (four-parameter logistic model) for CBR control of heart rate (CBR-HR) and mean arterial pressure (CBR-MAP), as well as separate two-way ANOVA of the hypotensive and hypertensive stimuli (factor 1: thermal condition, factor 2: chamber pressure), were performed. For CBR-HR, maximal gain was increased during WBH (−0.73 ± 0.11) compared with NT (−0.39 ± 0.04, mean ± SE, P = 0.03). In addition, the CBR-HR responding range was increased during WBH (33 ± 5) compared with NT (19 ± 2 bpm, P = 0.03). Separate analysis of hypertensive stimulation revealed enhanced HR responses during WBH at −40, −60, and −80 Torr (condition × chamber pressure interaction, P = 0.049) compared with NT. For CBR-MAP, both logistic analysis and separate two-way ANOVA revealed no differences during WBH. Therefore, in response to passive WBH, CBR control of heart rate (enhanced) and arterial pressure (no change) is well preserved.
- autonomic function
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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