Tibial and gastrocnemian vein response to LBNP after a 60 day bedrest with and without counter-measures (WISE study)

P Kerbeci, K Shoemaker, R Hughson, A Roncin, P Arbeille
Journal of Gravitational Physiology: a Journal of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology 2007, 14 (1): P57-8

UNLABELLED: The objective was to quantify calf vein cross section area (CSA) maximal enlargement and the percent change in response to LBNP (lower body negative pressure) after a 60 day bedrest.

METHOD: The 24 healthy volunteers (25-40 y) of the WISE 60 day HDT(-6 degree) bedrest, were divided into 3 groups: Control (Co), Exercise countermeasure (Ex: treadmill under LBNP and flywheel), Nutrition (Nut: daily protein supplement). All were studied at -45mmHg LBNP pre and at HDT day 55. Posterior Tibial (Tib), and Gastrocnemian (Gast) vein were investigated by echography using an echographic probe fixed at the upper and posterior part of the calf. From the post HDT CSE test the subjects were identified as finisher or non finisher to the 10-min tilt tolerance test.

RESULTS: At LBNP-45mmHg, the maximal enlargement of the Tib and Gast veins remained constant pre, and at HDT day 55 in all group (Co, Ex, Nut, finisher, non finisher). For both veins there was a higher vein distension (percent change from supine rest to -45mmHg) in Co and Nut group compared to Ex group despite the maximal distension was similar in all groups. Also the vein distension was higher in non finisher than in finisher.

CONCLUSION: The maximal distension of the vein were not affected nor by HDT nor by CM. The Ex counter-measure minimized the bed rest effect on leg vein distensibility (percent CSA change) while the Nut countermeasure had no effect. Higher leg vein distensibility was associated with reduced orthostatic tolerance.

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