WISE-2005: tibial and gastrocnemius vein and calf tissue response to LBNP after a 60-day bed rest with and without countermeasures

P Arbeille, P Kerbeci, L Mattar, J K Shoemaker, R L Hughson
Journal of Applied Physiology 2008, 104 (4): 938-43
The objective of this study was to quantify by echography the changes in the intramuscular [gastrocnemius (Gast)] and nonintramuscular [posterior tibial (Tib)] calf veins cross-sectional area (CSA) and the superficial tissue thickness (STth) in response to lower body negative pressure (LBNP) after 60-day head-down bed rest (HDBR). Twenty-four healthy women (25-40 yr) were divided into three groups: control (Con), treadmill-LBNP and flywheel (Ex-Lb), nutrition (Nut; protein supplement). All underwent a LBNP (0 and -45 mmHg) before and on day 55 of HDBR. Subjects were identified as finisher (F) or nonfinisher (NF) of a 10-min tilt test after 60 days of HDBR. There were no differences in resting CSA of the Tib and Gast veins on HDBR day 55 compared with pre-HDBR for the Ex-Lb, Con and Nut, or the F groups; however, for NF both the Tib and Gast vein CSA at rest were significantly smaller after HDBR. At -45 mmHg LBNP, Tib and Gast CSAs were not significantly different from before HDBR in all groups (Ex-Lb, Con, Nut, F, NF). However, percent change in CSA of both veins from rest to -45 mmHg LBNP was significantly greater in the Con and Nut groups compared with Ex-Lb, and also NF compared with F. Similarly, the percent increase in STth on going from rest to -45 mmHg was higher after HDBR in the Con and Nut groups compared with Ex-Lb, as well as NF compared with F. These results showed that the Ex-Lb countermeasure minimized the bed rest effect on leg vein capacitance (CSA percent change) and STth increase during LBNP, whereas Nut had no effect and that higher leg vein and superficial tissue capacitance were associated with reduced orthostatic tolerance.

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