open access

Vol 69, Supp. III (2011)
Reviews
Published online: 2011-11-24
Submitted: 2012-12-28
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Complex profile of the reflex diving response

Tomasz H. Wierzba, Arkadiusz Ropiak

open access

Vol 69, Supp. III (2011)
Reviews
Published online: 2011-11-24
Submitted: 2012-12-28

Abstract

Breath-holding coupled with face cooling triggers a set of the reflex cardiovascular responses, defined as a diving reflex. The major reflex responses include a decrease in heart rate and peripheral vasoconstriction with an increase of arterial pressure to evoke central blood pooling with preferential provision of the brain and heart perfusion. Due to high individual variability and situational dependence the individual course of the reflex response is hardly predictable. Heart rhythm disturbances are the major, sometimes fatal complications of the response. This review is an outline of causing factors, circumstances, mechanisms and the effects of the diving reflex and their practical implications, including risk factors of the critical arrhythmias occurred in diving.
Kardiol Pol 2011; 69, supl. III: 104–114

Abstract

Breath-holding coupled with face cooling triggers a set of the reflex cardiovascular responses, defined as a diving reflex. The major reflex responses include a decrease in heart rate and peripheral vasoconstriction with an increase of arterial pressure to evoke central blood pooling with preferential provision of the brain and heart perfusion. Due to high individual variability and situational dependence the individual course of the reflex response is hardly predictable. Heart rhythm disturbances are the major, sometimes fatal complications of the response. This review is an outline of causing factors, circumstances, mechanisms and the effects of the diving reflex and their practical implications, including risk factors of the critical arrhythmias occurred in diving.
Kardiol Pol 2011; 69, supl. III: 104–114
Get Citation

Keywords

diving reflex; facial cooling reflex; breath-holding; apnea; hypoxia; bradycardia; autonomic regulation; cardiovascular regulation; arrhythmia

About this article
Title

Complex profile of the reflex diving response

Journal

Kardiologia Polska (Polish Heart Journal)

Issue

Vol 69, Supp. III (2011)

Pages

104-114

Published online

2011-11-24

Keywords

diving reflex
facial cooling reflex
breath-holding
apnea
hypoxia
bradycardia
autonomic regulation
cardiovascular regulation
arrhythmia

Authors

Tomasz H. Wierzba
Arkadiusz Ropiak

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