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    Apnea via breath-holding (BH) in air induces cardiorespiratory adaptation that involves the activation of several reflex mechanisms and their complex interactions. Hence, the effects of BH in air on cardiorespiratory function can become hardly predictable and difficult to be interpreted. Particularly, the effect on heart rate is not yet completely understood because of the contradicting results of different physiological studies. In this paper we apply our previously developed cardiopulmonary model (CP Model) to a scenario of BH with a twofold intent: (1) further validating the CP Model via comparison against experimental data; (2) gaining insights into the physiological reasoning for such contradicting experimental results. Model predictions agreed with published experimental animal and human data and indicated that heart rate increases during BH in air. Changes in the balance between sympathetic and vagal effects on heart rate within the model proved to be effective in inverting directions of the heart rate changes during BH. Hence, the model suggests that intra-subject differences in such sympatho-vagal balance may be one of the reasons for the contradicting experimental results.


    Antonio Albanese, Limei Cheng, Mauro Ursino, Nicolas W Chbat. Cardiorespiratory adaptation to breath-holding in air: Analysis via a cardiopulmonary simulation model. Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference. 2015;2015:7788-91

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    PMID: 26738098

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