Head-down-tilt bed rest alters forearm vasodilator and vasoconstrictor responses

J. Kevin Shoemaker, Cindy S. Hogeman, David H. Silber, Kristen Gray, Michael Herr, Lawrence I. Sinoway

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54 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that head-down-tilt bed rest (HDBR) for 14 days alters vascular reactivity to vasodilatory and vasoconstrictor stimuli, the reactive hyperemic forearm blood flow (RHBF, measured by venous occlusion plethysmography) and mean arterial pressure (MAP, measured by Finapres) responses after 10 min of circulatory arrest were measured in a control trial (n = 20) and when sympathetic discharge was increased by a cold pressor test (RHBF + cold pressor test; n = 10). Vascular conductance (VC) was calculated (VC = RHBF/MAP). In the control trial, peak RHBF at 5 s after circulatory arrest (34.1 ± 2.5 vs. 48.9 ± 4.3 ml · 100 ml-1 · min-1) and VC (0.34 ± 0.02 vs. 0.53 ± 0.05 ml · 100 ml-1 · min-1 · mmHg-1) were reduced in the post-compared with the pre-HDBR tests (P < 0.05). Total excess RHBF over 3 min was diminished in the post-compared with the pre-HDBR trial (84.8 vs. 117 ml/100 ml, P < 0.002). The ability of the cold pressor test to lower forearm blood flow was less in the post- than in the pre-HDBR test (P < 0.05), despite similar increases in MAP. These data suggest that regulation of vascular dilation and the interaction between dilatory and constrictor influences were altered with bed rest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1756-1762
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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