Assessment of cardiovascular reflexes is of limited value in predicting maximal +Gz-tolerance.Aviat Space Environ Med. 1992 Jan; 63(1):21-6.AS
The importance of +Gz-induced loss of consciousness as a major cause of inflight incapacitation emphasizes the need for predicting +Gz-tolerance and investigating its possible determinants. The cardiovascular changes from +Gz-stress are initially counteracted reflexly by the cardiovascular autonomic system. The integrity of neural cardiovascular reflex control can be assessed by analysing the blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) responses to different maneuvers, such as the Valsalva maneuver, standing and forced respiratory sinus arrhythmia. The aim of the present study was to investigate a possible relation between the cardiovascular responses to these tests and +Gz-tolerance. In 10 healthy subjects continuous Finapres BP and HR responses to the tests have been determined and correlated with their G-levels of peripheral light loss (PLL) during centrifuge-runs (0.1 G/s). Only mean BP recovery during Valsalva maneuver correlated marginally significantly with PLL (r = 0.63, p = 0.049). Cardiovascular findings were within normal range revealing no cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction. These results indicate that intact neural cardiovascular control seems to be a condition for tolerating +Gz-stress without determining maximal +Gz-tolerance. We conclude that assessment of cardiovascular reflexes may only confirm baroreflex integrity. However, they have limited value in predicting +Gz-tolerance.