Purpose: To investigate the effects of exposure to electromagnetic pulses (EMP) on functional indices of the cardiovascular system in male Sprague-Dawley rats.
Materials and methods: A tapered parallel plate Gigahertz Transverse Electromagnetic cell (GTEM cell) with a flared rectangular coaxial transmission line was used to expose the rats to EMP (0.5 pps, total 200 pulses and whole-body averaged specific absorption rate 50 mW/kg at 200 kV/m or 75 mW/kg at 400 kV/m). Concurrent sham-exposed animals were used as controls. Cardiovascular functions, namely, heart rate, and systolic, mean and diastolic blood pressures were measured immediately and up to 4 weeks post-exposure using a non-invasive tail-cuff photoelectric sensor sphygmomanometer.
Results: The heart rates in sham- and EMP-exposed rats were not significantly changed. In the exposed rats, increased systolic blood pressure (SBP) occurred at 0 h and decreased SBP occurred at 1 day and 3 days after exposure. Significantly higher diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was found at 0 h and significantly lower DBP was found at 12 h, 1 day, and 1 month after exposure. Significantly higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) was noted at 0 h and significantly lower MAP was noted at 1 day.
Conclusions: Significant alterations in arterial blood pressure were observed in rats exposed to EMP exposure while heart rate was not altered.