Exercise plus volume loading prevents orthostatic intolerance but not reduction in cerebral blood flow velocity after bed rest

Sung Moon Jeong, Shigeki Shibata, Benjamin D. Levine, Rong Zhang

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23 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that reduction in cerebral blood flow (CBF) during orthostatic stress after bed rest can be ameliorated with volume loading, exercise, or both. Transcranial Doppler was used to measure changes in CBF velocity during lower body negative pressure (LBNP) before and after an 18-day bed rest in 33 healthy subjects. Subjects were assigned into four groups with similar age and sex: 1) supine cycling during bed rest (Exercise group; n = 7), 2) volume loading with Dextran infusion after bed rest to restore reduced left ventricular filling pressure (Dextran group; n = 7), 3) exercise combined with volume loading to prevent orthostatic intolerance (Ex-Dex group; n = 7), and 4) a control group (n = 12). LBNP tolerance was measured using a cumulative stress index (CSI). After bed rest, CBF velocity was reduced at a lower level of LBNP in the Control group, and the magnitude of reduction was greater in the Ex-Dex group. However, reduction in orthostatic tolerance was prevented in the Ex-Dex group. Notably, volume loading alone prevented greater reductions in CBF velocity after bed rest, but CSI was reduced still by 25%. Finally, decreases in CBF velocity during LBNP were correlated with reduction in cardiac output under all conditions (r 2 = 0.86; P = < 0.001). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that volume loading alone can ameliorate reductions in CBF during LBNP. However, the lack of associations between changes in CBF velocity and orthostatic tolerance suggests that reductions in CBF during LBNP under steady-state conditions by itself are unlikely to be a primary factor leading to orthostatic intolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H489-H497
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Spaceflight
  • Transcranial doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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