Impact of hypocapnia and cerebral perfusion on orthostatic tolerance.
We examined two novel hypotheses: (1) that orthostatic tolerance (OT) would be prolonged when hyperventilatory-induced hypocapnia (and hence cerebral hypoperfusion) was prevented; and (2) that pharmacological reductions in cerebral blood flow (CBF) at baseline would lower the 'CBF reserve', and ultimately reduce OT. In study 1 (n = 24; aged 25 ± 4 years) participants underwent progressive lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) until pre-syncope; end-tidal carbon dioxide (P ET , CO 2) was clamped at baseline levels (isocapnic trial) or uncontrolled. In study 2 (n = 10; aged 25 ± 4 years), CBF was pharmacologically reduced by administration of indomethacin (INDO; 1.2 mg kg(-1)) or unaltered (placebo) followed by LBNP to pre-syncope. Beat-by-beat measurements of middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAv; transcranial Doppler), heart rate (ECG), blood pressure (BP; Finometer) and end-tidal gases were obtained continuously. In a subset of subjects' arterial-to-jugular venous differences were obtained to examine the independent impact of hypocapnia or cerebral hypoperfusion (following INDO) on cerebral oxygen delivery and extraction. In study 1, during the isocapnic trial, P ET , CO 2 was successfully clamped at baseline levels at pre-syncope (38.3 ± 2.7 vs. 38.5 ± 2.5 mmHg respectively; P = 0.50). In the uncontrolled trial, P ET , CO 2 at pre-syncope was reduced by 10.9 ± 3.9 mmHg (P ≤ 0.001). Compared to the isocapnic trial, the decline in mean MCAv was 15 ± 4 cm s(-1) (35%; P ≤ 0.001) greater in the uncontrolled trial, yet the time to pre-syncope was comparable between trials (544 ± 130 vs. 572 ± 180 s; P = 0.30). In study 2, compared to placebo, INDO reduced resting MCAv by 19 ± 4 cm s(-1) (31%; P ≤ 0.001), but time to pre-syncope remained similar between trials (placebo: 1123 ± 138 s vs. INDO: 1175 ± 212 s; P = 0.53). The brain extracted more oxygen in face of hypocapnia (34% to 53%) or cerebral hypoperfusion (34% to 57%) to compensate for reductions in delivery. In summary, cerebral hypoperfusion either at rest or induced by hypocapnia at pre-syncope does not impact OT, probably due to a compensatory increase in oxygen extraction.
Lewis, NCS; Bain, AR; MacLeod, DB; Wildfong, KW; Smith, KJ; Willie, CK; Sanders, ML; Numan, T; Morrison, SA; Foster, GE; Stewart, JM; Ainslie, PN
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