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The Functional Significance of the Cardiac Nerves

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Department of Pharmacology
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Albuquerque, N. M.

Ann Intern Med. 1967;66(2):440-443. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-66-2-440
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With the demonstration that orthotopic cardiac autotransplants can survive indefinitely (1) and that cardiac innervation is not essential to intrinsic myocardial contractility (2), and since artificial hearts may soon become a practical reality, the question "Is cardiac innervation necessary?" has arisen. In experimental animals, the presence of a functional connection of the central nervous system to the heart is clearly not essential to life or to the heart's ability to respond appropriately to certain stresses such as exercise (3). Thus, the "denervated heart" preparation is a well-recognized research device for showing the role that the nerves can play in response



neurons ; heart

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