Presentation Title

Measuring the Effect of Sympathetic Nervous Activation on Carotid Arterial Longitudinal Motion

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Arteries within the systemic circulation bring oxygenated blood from the heart to organs. These vessels act as reservoirs by storing elastic potential energy by stretching when blood enters them with each heart contraction, then return this energy to the circulation to help propel blood throughout the periphery. This distention of the large arteries has been extensively studied and decreases with aging, a process known as arteriosclerosis. Less well studied, however, is the movement of the inner lining of arteries in the longitudinal direction (with or against the direction of blood flow) which was only recently discovered. Links have been drawn between attenuation of this movement and heightened cardiovascular disease risk suggesting that potential exists for a clinical application as a diagnostic tool; however, the physiological factors that confound this metric first need to be better understood. One factor is activity of the sympathetic nervous system, the component of the autonomic nervous system activated under stress. The aim of this research was to measure the effect of sympathetic activation on the longitudinal motion of the common carotid artery. This involved ultrasound imaging coupled with custom software to quantify the longitudinal motion of the artery during two sympathetic nervous system manipulations: a cold pressor test and post-exercise circulatory occlusion. Various physiological parameters (ECG, blood pressure, respiration rate) were also continuously measured. A cross-correlational analysis between these parameters and carotid arterial longitudinal motion was performed to explain relationships between the sympathetic activation and longitudinal movement of the artery.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Mark Rakobowchuk

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Measuring the Effect of Sympathetic Nervous Activation on Carotid Arterial Longitudinal Motion

Arteries within the systemic circulation bring oxygenated blood from the heart to organs. These vessels act as reservoirs by storing elastic potential energy by stretching when blood enters them with each heart contraction, then return this energy to the circulation to help propel blood throughout the periphery. This distention of the large arteries has been extensively studied and decreases with aging, a process known as arteriosclerosis. Less well studied, however, is the movement of the inner lining of arteries in the longitudinal direction (with or against the direction of blood flow) which was only recently discovered. Links have been drawn between attenuation of this movement and heightened cardiovascular disease risk suggesting that potential exists for a clinical application as a diagnostic tool; however, the physiological factors that confound this metric first need to be better understood. One factor is activity of the sympathetic nervous system, the component of the autonomic nervous system activated under stress. The aim of this research was to measure the effect of sympathetic activation on the longitudinal motion of the common carotid artery. This involved ultrasound imaging coupled with custom software to quantify the longitudinal motion of the artery during two sympathetic nervous system manipulations: a cold pressor test and post-exercise circulatory occlusion. Various physiological parameters (ECG, blood pressure, respiration rate) were also continuously measured. A cross-correlational analysis between these parameters and carotid arterial longitudinal motion was performed to explain relationships between the sympathetic activation and longitudinal movement of the artery.