Effect of pulmonary venous congestion on respiratory rate in dogs.
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1. The effect of pulmonary venous congestion on the respiratory rate was examined in dogs anaesthetized with alpha-chloralose. The study was done on both spontaneously breathing and artificially ventilated animals. Pulmonary venous congestion was produced by partial obstruction of the mitral valve sufficient to raise the left atrial pressure by 5 mmHg. 2. In artificially ventilated dogs, pulmonary venous congestion increased significantly the activity in phrenic nerves. Both the number of bursts/min and the total number of impulses/min increased. However, there was no significant change in the number of impulses/burst. 3. In spontaneously breathing dogs, pulmonary venous congestion produced a significant increase in the frequency of breathing with a significant shortening of the inspiratory and expiratory durations. 4. Cooling of the cervical vagi to 8-9 degrees C abolished both the above responses. 5. Pulmonary venous congestion (left atrial pressure +5 mmHg) stimulated the rapidly adapting receptors of the airways. This effect was abolished by cooling the ipsilateral vagus proximally to 8-9 degrees C. 6. It is concluded that pulmonary venous congestion increases the respiratory rate reflexly in dogs. The afferent pathway for this reflex response resides in the vagus and the rapidly adapting receptors are likely to be the receptors involved in this response.
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