JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

WISE 2005: responses of women to sublingual nitroglycerin before and after 56 days of 6° head-down bed rest

K A Zuj, H Edgell, J K Shoemaker, M A Custaud, P Arbeille, R L Hughson
Journal of Applied Physiology 2012, 113 (3): 434-41
22653986
This study tested the hypothesis that cardiovascular effects of sublingual nitroglycerin (NG) would be exaggerated after 56 days of 6° head-down bed rest (HDBR) in women, and that an aerobic and resistive exercise countermeasure (EX, n = 8) would reduce the effect compared with HDBR without exercise (CON, n = 7). Middle cerebral artery maximal blood flow velocity (CBFV), cardiac stroke volume (SV), and superficial femoral artery blood flow (Doppler ultrasound) were recorded at baseline rest and for 5 min following 0.3 mg sublingual NG. Post-HDBR, NG caused greater increases in heart rate (HR) in CON compared with EX (+24.9 ± 7.7 and +18.8 ± 6.6 beats/min, respectively, P < 0.0001). The increase in HR combined with reductions in SV to maintain cardiac output. Systolic, mean, and pulse pressures were reduced 5-10 mmHg by NG, but total peripheral resistance was only slightly reduced at 3 min after NG. Reductions in CBFV of -12.5 ± 3.8 cm/s were seen after NG, but a reduction in the Doppler resistance index suggested dilation of the middle cerebral artery with no differences after HDBR. The femoral artery dilated with NG and blood flow was reduced ∼50% with the appearance of large negative waves suggesting a marked increase in downstream resistance, but there were no effects of HDBR. In general, responses of women to NG were not altered by HDBR; the greater increase in HR in CON but not EX was probably a consequence of cardiovascular deconditioning. These results contrast with the hypothesis and a previous investigation of men after HDBR by revealing no change in cardiovascular responses to exogenous nitric oxide.

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