PAINE Podcast and Medical Blog


Bainbridge Reflex


Other known aliasesAtrial Reflex

DefinitionCompensatory increase in heart rate caused by a rise in right atrial pressure.  Opposite of carotid baroreceptors.

Clinical SignificanceRespiratory sinus arrythmia.  Inspiration causes increased venous return.

History – Described by Francis Arthur Bainbridge in 1915


  1. Hakumäki MO. Seventy years of the Bainbridge reflex. Acta physiologica Scandinavica. 1987;130(2):177-85. [pubmed]
  2. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.