This reflex was described by the English physiologist Bainbridge in 1915, who noted an increase in heart rate in response to rapid intravascular infusion of fluid into anaesthetized animals. The receptors are the atrial A and B receptors described above. The afferent limb of the reflex is the vagus nerves, while the efferent limb consists of sympathetic nerves to the sinus node. Heart rate is, thus, influenced by the two opposing actions of the arterial baroreceptor reflex and the Bainbridge reflex. Whether the heart rate increases or decreases with a sudden increase in intravascular volume is thought to be dependent on the initial heart rate, if it is high it tends to decrease (arterial baroreceptor reflex), while if the initial heart rate is low it tends to increase (Bainbridge reflex).
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