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Elevated legs increase heart rate. How?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3388 Questions
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 35 minutes later

Thanks for your query,

Yes, elevated legs do increase the heart rate momentarily.This happens due to the below mechanism.

When the limbs are elevated, due to gravity the blood flows towards the upper extremity ie the heart . The increased venous return to the heart causes increase in the preload ( stretching of the heart muscle to the maximum prior heart contraction ).

Stroke volume(is the volume of blood pumped by one ventricle-larger chamber of the heart with each beat) is intrinsically controlled by preload . An increase in the volume or speed of venous return will increase preload and, through the Frank–Starling law of the heart, will increase stroke volume. Decreased venous return has the opposite effect, causing a reduction in stroke volume.

Increase in the stroke volume results in increased and fast overall venous return from the body hence speeding the cardiac cycle.

The venous is directly proportional to preload which is directly proportional to stroke volume and thus the heart rate.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Elevated legs increase heart rate. How? 16 minutes later
thanks,can show me graphically? or in graph. i understand mechanistically and that agrees with my prediction that i had in my mind. please let me or show my how it happen graghically
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 46 minutes later

Thanks for following me up,


The above link will give you description of the information i provided with graphs.

The PPt attached with this link ( refer above 40th slide ) will give some more detailed understanding.

I tried to get you the most understandable information ,

Hope the above helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Elevated legs increase heart rate. How? 43 hours later
what kind of sign disease can be the result of elevation of T wave in ECG in heart electric test
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 4 hours later
Hi ,

Thanks for follow up,

T wave elevation is seen in conditions like Hyperkalemia , hyperacute myocardial infarction and left bundle branch block.Moderate elevation ( about 10 to 20% )in the T waves can also be normal sometimes.

Hope i have answered your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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