Stroke volume and cardiac output in juvenile elephant seals during forced dives

Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, Ронърт Парк, California, United States
Journal of Experimental Biology (Impact Factor: 2.9). 10/2005; 208(Pt 19):3637-43. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.01789
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of forced diving on cardiac dynamics in a diving mammal by evaluating cardiac output and heart rate. We used MR Imaging and phase contrast flow analysis to obtain accurate flow measurements from the base of the aorta. Heart rate (fh) and cardiac output (Q) were measured before, during and after dives in four restrained juvenile northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, and stroke volume (Vs) was calculated (Vs=Q/fh). Mean Q during diving (4011+/-387 ml min(-1)) and resting (6530+/-1018 ml min(-1)) was not significantly different (paired t-test; P<0.055). Diving was accompanied by a 20% increase in Vs over the pre-dive level. Pre-dive, post-dive or diving fh was not significantly correlated with Vs during any state. Diving Vs correlated negatively with the bradycardic ratio (diving fh to pre-dive fh). In this study, the degree of bradycardia during diving was less than in previous pinniped studies, suggesting that the reduction in vagal input may contribute to the observed increase in Vs.

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