Persistent peripheral vasodilation and sympathetic activity in hypotension after maximal exercise

M. Piepoli, A. J S Coats, S. Adamopoulos, L. Bernardi, Hong Feng Ying Hong Feng, J. Conway, P. Sleight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hemodynamics (by aortic Doppler), autonomic factors (power spectrum analysis of heart rate and blood pressure variabilities and baroreceptor sensitivity), and plasma renin activity during the hypotension after maximal exercise were studied in 10 normal subjects on two separate days: a nonexercise (control) day (30 min of upright rest followed by 60 min of supine rest) and an exercise day (maximal upright bicycle exercise followed by 60 min supine) in random order. After exercise, diastolic pressure was reduced for the entire hour, cardiac output increased (+33.8%, P <0.05), stroke volume was unchanged, and systemic vascular resistance fell (+28.6%, P <0.01). Indexes of vagal activity were reduced for 60 min, whereas the sympathetic indexes were elevated. Baroreflex sensitivity was also reduced for the first 10 min after exercise. Renin activity increased threefold after exercise. The postexercise hypotension results from a persisting peripheral vasodilatation despite an increase in renin activity: the persistent sympathetic activity and reduced vagal tone are probably reflex responses to this vasodilatation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1807-1814
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • autonomic nervous system
  • blood pressure regulation
  • blood pressure variability
  • cardiac output
  • heart rate variability
  • peripheral resistance
  • plasma renin activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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