Systemic Arterial Pressure - Short-term Regulation

  • Changes in posture, movements of the body, and exercise would all cause rapid and dramatic changes in the systemic arterial pressure in the absence of rapid time-scale regulatory mechanisms. Furthermore, many types of higher-order mental processes such as fear and emotion can quickly raise the systemic arterial pressure, likely in anticipation of physical exertion. The processes which guarantee a fairly stable systemic arterial pressure in the face rapid, second-to-minute timescale changes in the body are discussed here. In general, short-term stability of the systemic arterial pressure is coordinated by means of a negative feedback control circuit which senses changes in blood pressure, arrives at a regulatory decision, and coordinates an effective response largely through the autonomic nervous system.