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The trigeminocardiac reflex – a comparison with the diving reflex in humans
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Submission date: 2013-03-19
Final revision date: 2013-04-29
Acceptance date: 2013-06-30
Online publication date: 2015-04-23
Publication date: 2015-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2015;11(2):419–426
The trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR) has previously been described in the literature as a reflexive response of bradycardia, hypotension, and gastric hypermotility seen upon mechanical stimulation in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve. The diving reflex (DR) in humans is characterized by breath-holding, slowing of the heart rate, reduction of limb blood flow and a gradual rise in the mean arterial blood pressure. Although the two reflexes share many similarities, their relationship and especially their functional purpose in humans have yet to be fully elucidated. In the present review, we have tried to integrate and elaborate these two phenomena into a unified physiological concept. Assuming that the TCR and the DR are closely linked functionally and phylogenetically, we have also highlighted the significance of these reflexes in humans.