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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Mar;112(5):719-27. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01196.2011. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Cardiovascular regulation during long-duration spaceflights to the International Space Station.

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  • 1Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L3G1, Canada. hughson@uwaterloo.ca

Abstract

Early evidence from long-duration flights indicates general cardiovascular deconditioning, including reduced arterial baroreflex gain. The current study investigated the spontaneous baroreflex and markers of cardiovascular control in six male astronauts living for 2-6 mo on the International Space Station. Measurements were made from the finger arterial pressure waves during spontaneous breathing (SB) in the supine posture pre- and postflight and during SB and paced breathing (PB, 0.1 Hz) in a seated posture pre- and postflight, as well as early and late in the missions. There were no changes in preflight measurements of heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), or spontaneous baroreflex compared with in-flight measurements. There were, however, increases in the estimate of left ventricular ejection time index and a late in-flight increase in cardiac output (CO). The high-frequency component of RR interval spectral power, arterial pulse pressure, and stroke volume were reduced in-flight. Postflight there was a small increase compared with preflight in HR (60.0 ± 9.4 vs. 54.9 ± 9.6 beats/min in the seated posture, P < 0.05) and CO (5.6 ± 0.8 vs. 5.0 ± 1.0 l/min, P < 0.01). Arterial baroreflex response slope was not changed during spaceflight, while a 34% reduction from preflight in baroreflex slope during postflight PB was significant (7.1 ± 2.4 vs. 13.4 ± 6.8 ms/mmHg), but a smaller average reduction (25%) during SB (8.0 ± 2.1 vs. 13.6 ± 7.4 ms/mmHg) was not significant. Overall, these data show no change in markers of cardiovascular stability during long-duration spaceflight and only relatively small changes postflight at rest in the seated position. The current program routine of countermeasures on the International Space Station provided sufficient stimulus to maintain cardiovascular stability under resting conditions during long-duration spaceflight.

PMID:
22134699
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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