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Reflex autonomic regulation of cardiac output

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The main features of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems relevant to the regulation of cardiac output are summarised below:

  • sympathetic nervous system:
    • innervates conducting tissue, atria and ventricles
    • positive chronotropy - increases the heart rate
    • positive inotropy - increases the force of contraction

  • parasympathetic nervous system (Vagal nerve):
    • innervates conducting tissue and atria
    • negative chronotropy

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