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Effect of Head-Down Bed Rest and Artificial Gravity Countermeasure on Cardiac Autonomic and Advanced Electrocardiographic FunctionTo study the effects of 21 days of head-down bed rest (HDBR), with versus without an artificial gravity (AG) countermeasure, on cardiac autonomic and advanced electrocardiographic function. Fourteen healthy men participated in the study: seven experienced 21 days of HDBR alone ("HDBR controls") and seven the same degree and duration of HDBR but with approximately 1hr daily short-arm centrifugation as an AG countermeasure ("AG-treated"). Five minute supine high-fidelity 12-lead ECGs were obtained in all subjects: 1) 4 days before HDBR; 2) on the last day of HDBR; and 3) 7 days after HDBR. Besides conventional 12-lead ECG intervals and voltages, all of the following advanced ECG parameters were studied: 1) both stochastic (time and frequency domain) and deterministic heart rate variability (HRV); 2) beat-to-beat QT interval variability (QTV); 3) T-wave morphology, including signal-averaged T-wave residua (TWR) and principal component analysis ratios; 4) other SAECG-related parameters including high frequency QRS ECG and late potentials; and 5) several advanced ECG estimates of left ventricular (LV) mass. The most important results by repeated measures ANOVA were that: 1) Heart rates, Bazett-corrected QTc intervals, TWR, LF/HF power and the alpha 1 of HRV were significantly increased in both groups (i.e., by HDBR), but with no relevant HDBR*group differences; 2) All purely "vagally-mediated" parameters of HRV (e.g., RMSSD, HF power, Poincare SD1, etc.), PR intervals, and also several parameters of LV mass (Cornell and Sokolow-Lyon voltages, spatial ventricular activation times, ventricular gradients) were all significantly decreased in both groups (i.e., by HDBR), but again with no relevant HDBR*group differences); 3) All "generalized" or "vagal plus sympathetic" parameters of stochastic HRV (i.e., SDNN, total power, LF power) were significantly more decreased in the AG-treated group than in the HDBR-only group (i.e., here there was a relevant HDBR*group difference); and 4) QTV index was also significantly more changed (increased) in the AG-treated group than in the HDBR-only group, although this was clearly due to a greater decrease in generalized HRV and not to a greater increase in QTV proper because there was no relevant HDBR*group effect for either the SDNN or the RMSSD of QTV. Brief daily AG treatment by short-arm centrifuge during each of 21 days of HDBR does not appear to protect against HDBR-related losses of cardiac autonomic function or of LV mass as estimated by ECG.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Schlegel, T. T. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Platts, S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Stenger, M. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Ribeiro, C.
Natapoff, A. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Howarth, M.
Evans, J. (Kentucky Univ. Lexington, KY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
International Gravitational Physiology Meeting(San Antonio, TX)
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