Transient cerebral blood flow responses during microgravity

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PURPOSE: A number of studies has well described central cardiovascular changes caused by changing gravity levels as they occur e.g. during parabolic flight. limited data exists describing the effect of microgravity on the cerebrovascular system and brain perfusion.

METHODS: In this study middle cerebral artery velocity (MCAv) of 16 participants was continuously monitored on a second-by-second basis during 15 consecutive parabolas (1G, 1,8G, 0G, 1,8G) using doppler ultrasound. Simultaneously central cardiovascular parameters (heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, cardiac output) were assessed.

RESULTS: Results revealed an immediate reaction of central cardiovascular parameters to changed gravity levels. In contrast, changes in MCAv only initially were in accordance with a normal cerebral autoregulation. Whereas all of the measured central cardiovascular parameters seemed to have reached a steady state after approximately 8 s of microgravity, MCAv, after an initial decrease with the onset of microgravity, increased again during the second half of the microgravity phase.

CONCLUSION: It is concluded that this increase in MCAv during the second half of the microgravity period reflects a decrease of cerebrovascular resistance caused by a pressure driven increased venous outflow and/or a contraction of precapillary sphincters in order to avoid hyperperfusion of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLife sciences in space research
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 5335704

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