Impairment of cardiovascular and vasomotor responses during tilt table simulation of "push-pull' maneuvers.Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002 Oct; 73(10):971-9.AS
Numerous studies have shown that tolerance to positive acceleration (+Gz) is impaired subsequent to an exposure of less than +1 Gz.
Vasodilation induced by antecedent negative Gz (-Gz) exposure delays sympathetic vasoconstriction during subsequent +Gz, further reducing G-tolerance.
There were 20 subjects tested on an electronic tilt table, and exposed to the following randomized head-up tilt (HUT) and head-down tilt (HDT) conditions: +75 degrees HUT for 60 s, followed by transition to either 0 degrees (supine) HDT, or -25 degrees HDT, or -45 degrees HDT for 7 or 15 s at tilt rate of 45 degrees x s(-1). This was followed by HUT, divided into three periods: HUT1 (approximately 3-10 s), HUT2 (approximately 15-22 s), and HUT3 (approximately 27-35 s). Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was normalized to heart and head-levels. Stroke volume (SV) was estimated using impedance cardiography; forearm blood flow (FBF) estimated by venous occlusion plethysmography and forearm vascular resistance (FVR) was calculated from FBF and SBP. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was estimated by MAP/(SV*HR).
Heart-level SBP decreased significantly during HDT for both HDT durations (p < 0.01). SBP increased significantly at head-level during HDT (p < 0.001). During HUT1 heart and head-level SBP decreased for all conditions (p < 0.001), recovering to baseline levels by HUT2. TPR decreased significantly for all HDT conditions (p < 0.001), with this decrease related to the degree of HDT angle (p < 0.05). During HUT1, TPR remained depressed below baseline. At HUT2, TPR remained decreased for the -45 degrees/7-s condition only (p < 0.01). FBF decreased significantly during HDT (p < 0.02), with the magnitude related to the HDT angle. FBF remained elevated during HUT1 (p < 0.01). FVR decreased as a function of HDT angle during HDT (p < 0.001), with the decrease persisting into the HUT1 phase (p < 0.01). By the HUT2 and HUT3 periods, FVR were above baseline levels for the -45 degrees HDT condition (p < 0.01).
These results confirm in humans the delayed recovery of peripheral vascular resistance observed in animal studies when -Gz precedes +Gz. Since SV recovered to baseline levels during the "pull" phase (HUT1-3), with TPR and forearm vascular resistance remaining depressed, baroreflex-mediated peripheral vascular control is delayed. This delay at higher subsequent +Gz levels is dangerous for the military pilot, since symptoms of G-intolerance due to delay in head-level BP recovery will ensue at lower absolute +Gz levels during push-pull type maneuvers.