Cardiovascular changes during maximal breath-holding in elite divers

Pietro Guaraldi, Maria Serra, Giorgio Barletta, Giulia Pierangeli, Rossana Terlizzi, Giovanna Calandra-Buonaura, Danilo Cialoni, Pietro Cortelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During maximal breath-holding six healthy elite breath-hold divers, after an initial "easy-going" phase in which cardiovascular changes resembled the so-called "diving response", exhibited a sudden and severe rise in blood pressure during the "struggle" phase of the maneuver. These changes may represent the first tangible expression of a defense reaction, which overrides the classic diving reflex, aiming to reduce the hypoxic damage and to break the apnea before the loss of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Apnea
  • Diving
  • Hypoxemia
  • Parasympathetic nervous system
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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