Aortic, cerebral and lower limb arterial and venous response to orthostatic stress after a 60-day bedrest

P Arbeille, K Shoemaker, P Kerbeci, S Schneider, A Hargens, R Hughson
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2012, 112 (1): 277-84
The objective of this study is to assess by echography and Doppler the Cerebral (Vmca), Aortic (Vao) and Femoral (Vfem) arterial flow velocity and calf vein (Tibial, Gastrocnemius) section (Tib, Gast) during orthostatic intolerance (OI) test after a 60-day, head down tilt bed rest (HDBR). Twenty-four women (25-40 years) underwent a 60-day HDBR at -6°: eight as control (Con), eight with exercise against lower body negative pressure (Ex-Lb) and eight with nutrition supplement (Nut). Before and after (R0) HDBR, all subjects underwent a 10-min, 80° tilt followed by progressive LBNP until presyncope. After the post-HDBR Tilt + LBNP test, two groups were identified: finishers (F, n = 11) who completed the Tilt and non-finishers (NF, n = 13). A higher percentage decrease in Vao flow, higher percentage distension of Tib vein and a lack of increase in Vmca/Vfem ratio during the post-HDBR Tilt + LBNP compared to pre-HDBR were correlated to OI, but not all of these abnormal responses were present in each of the NF subjects. Abnormal responses were more frequent in Con and Nut than in Ex-Lb subjects. (1) HDBR did not affect the cardiac, arterial and venous responses to the orthostatic test to the same extent in each subject. (2) Exercise within LBNP partially preserved the cardiovascular response to Tilt, while Nutrition supplementation had no efficacy. (3) Cerebral/femoral flow ratio and aortic flow were the parameters most closely related to OI. (4) Reduction in aortic flow was not the major hemodynamic change preceding syncope.

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