C F Knapp

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States

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Publications (66)182.71 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated whether and how cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory phase synchronization would respond to changes in hydration status and orthostatic stress. Four men and six women were tested during graded head-up tilt (HUT) in both euhydration and dehydration (DEH) conditions. Continuous R-R intervals (RRI), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and respiration were investigated in low (LF 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high (HF 0.15-0.4 Hz) frequency ranges using a phase synchronization index (λ) ranging from 0 (complete lack of interaction) to 1 (perfect interaction) and a directionality index (d), where a positive value of d reflects oscillator 1 driving oscillator 2, and a negative value reflects the opposite driving direction. Surrogate data analysis was used to exclude relationships that occurred by chance. In the LF range, respiration was not synchronized with RRI or SBP, whereas RRI and SBP were phase synchronized. In the HF range, phases among all variables were synchronized. DEH reduced λ among all variables in the HF and did not affect λ between RRI and SBP in the LF region. DEH reduced d between RRI and SBP in the LF and did not affect d among all variables in the HF region. Increasing λ and decreasing d between SBP and RRI were observed in the LF range during HUT. Decreasing λ between SBP and RRI, respiration and RRI, and decreasing d between respiration and SBP were observed in the HF range during HUT. These results show that orthostatic stress disassociated interactions among RRI, SBP and respiration, and that DEH exacerbated the disconnection.
    European journal of applied physiology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Harmful effects of inhaled particulates have been established in epidemiologic studies of ambient air pollution. In particular, heart rate variability responses to high levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), similar to responses observed during direct smoking, have been reported. We sought to determine whether such responses could be observed at lower particulate concentrations.
    European journal of applied physiology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Earth-based simulations of physiologic responses to space mission activities are needed to develop prospective countermeasures. To determine whether upright lower body positive pressure (LBPP) provides a suitable space mission simulation, we investigated the cardiovascular responses of normovolemic and hypovolemic men and women to supine and orthostatic stress induced by head-up tilt (HUT) and upright LBPP, representing standing in lunar, Martian, and Earth gravities. Six men and six women were tested in normovolemic and hypovolemic (furosemide, intravenous, 0.5 mg x kg(-1)) conditions. Continuous electrocardiogram, blood pressure, segmental bioimpedance, and stroke volume (echocardiography) were recorded supine and at lunar, Martian, and Earth gravities (10 degrees, 20 degrees, and 80 degrees HUT vs. 20%, 40%, and 100% bodyweight upright LBPP), respectively. Cardiovascular responses were assessed from mean values, spectral powers, and spontaneous baroreflex parameters. Hypovolemia reduced plasma volume by approximately 10% and stroke volume by approximately 25% at supine, and increasing orthostatic stress resulted in further reductions. Upright LBPP induced more plasma volume losses at simulated lunar and Martian gravities compared with HUT, while both techniques induced comparable central hypovolemia at each stress. Cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress were comparable between HUT and upright LBPP in both normovolemic and hypovolemic conditions; however, hypovolemic blood pressure was greater during standing at 100% bodyweight compared to 80 degree HUT due to a greater increase of total peripheral resistance. The comparable cardiovascular response to HUT and upright LBPP support the use of upright LBPP as a potential model to simulate activity in lunar and Martian gravities.
    Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 04/2014; 85(4):407-13. · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we compare two models [head-up tilt (HUT) vs. body unweighting using lower body positive pressure (LBPP)] to simulate Moon, Mars, and Earth gravities. A literature search did not reveal any comparisons of this type performed previously. We hypothesized that segmental fluid volume shifts (thorax, abdomen, upper and lower leg), cardiac output, and blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and total peripheral resistance to standing would be similar in the LBPP and HUT models. There were 21 subjects who were studied while supine (simulation of spaceflight) and standing at 100% (Earth), 40% (Mars), and 20% (Moon) bodyweight produced by LBPP in Alter-G and while supine and tilted at 80 degrees, 20 degrees, and 10 degrees HUT (analogues of Earth, Mars, and Moon gravities, respectively). Compared to supine, fluid shifts from the chest to the abdomen, increases in HR, and decreases in stroke volume were greater at 100% bodyweight than at reduced weights in response to both LBPP and HUT. Differences between the two models were found for systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial BP, stroke volume, total peripheral resistance, and thorax and abdomen impedances, while HR, cardiac output, and upper and lower leg impedances were similar. Bodyweight unloading via both LBPP and HUT resulted in cardiovascular changes similar to those anticipated in actual reduced gravity environments. The LBPP model/Alter-G has the advantage of providing an environment that allows dynamic activity at reduced bodyweight; however, the significant increase in blood pressures in the Alter-GC may favor the HUT model.
    Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 04/2014; 85(4):414-9. · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that human cardiovascular responses to standing in reduced gravity environments, as on the Moon or Mars, could be modeled using a lower body positive pressure (LBPP) chamber. Heart rate, blood pressure, body segment fluid shifts, ECG, indexes of sympathetic, parasympathetic balance, and baroreflex control of the heart and periphery plus echocardiographic measures of cardiac function were recorded from seven men and seven women supine and standing at 100% (Earth), 40% (-Mars), and 20% (-Moon) bodyweights (BW). The fluid shifted from the chest was greater when standing at 100% BW than at 20% and 40% BW, while fluid pooled in the abdomen was similar at all BWs. Compared to moving from supine to standing at 100% BW, moving to 20% and 40% BW resulted in smaller decreases in stroke volume and pulse pressure, smaller increases in heart rate and smaller decreases in parasympathetic control of heart rate, baroreflex slope, numbers of blood pressure ramps, and much reduced indexes of sympathetic drive to the heart and periphery. However, peripheral vascular resistance, systolic pressure, and baroreflex effectiveness were elevated during 20% and 40% BW, compared to supine and standing at 100% BW. Standing at reduced bodyweight suppressed indexes of sympathetic control of heart rate and peripheral vasomotion. Regulatory responses indicated a combination of arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreflex control: mean heart rate, vasomotion, and baroreflex sensitivity appeared to be more under cardiopulmonary control while baroreflex effectiveness appeared to be driven more by the arterial baroreflex.
    Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 11/2013; 84(11):1140-6. · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac and vascular dysfunctions resulting from autonomic neuropathy (AN) are complications of diabetes, often undiagnosed. Our objectives were to: 1) determine sympathetic and parasympathetic components of compromised blood pressure (BP) regulation in patients with peripheral neuropathy and 2) rank noninvasive indexes for their sensitivity in diagnosing AN. We continuously measured electrocardiogram, arterial BP, and respiration during supine rest and 70° head-up tilt in 12 able-bodied subjects, 7 diabetics without, 7 diabetics with possible, and 8 diabetics with definite, sensory, and/or motor neuropathy (D2). During the first 3 min of tilt, systolic BP (SBP) of D2 decreased [-10.9 ± 4.5 (SE) mmHg] but increased in able-bodied (+4.8 ± 5.4 mmHg). Compared with able-bodied, D2 had smaller low-frequency (0.04-0.15 Hz) spectral power of diastolic BP, lower baroreflex effectiveness index (BEI), and more SBP ramps. Except for low-frequency power of SBP, D2 had greater SBP and smaller RR interval harmonic and nonharmonic components at rest across the 0.003- to 0.45-Hz region. In addition, our results support previous findings of smaller HF RR interval power, smaller numbers of baroreflex sequences, and lower baroreflex sensitivity in D2. We conclude that diabetic peripheral neuropathy is accompanied by diminished parasympathetic and sympathetic control of heart rate and peripheral vasomotion and diminished baroreflex regulation. A novel finding of this study lies in the sensitivity of BEI to detect AN, presumably because of its combination of parameters that measure reductions in both sympathetic control of vasomotion and parasympathetic control of heart rate.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 11/2011; 302(5):R541-50. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We studied 15 men (8 treatment, 7 control) before and after 21 days of 6º head-down tilt to determine whether daily, 1-h exposures to 1.0 G(z) (at the heart) artificial gravity (AG) would prevent bed rest-induced cardiovascular deconditioning. Testing included echocardiographic analysis of cardiac function, plasma volume (PV), aerobic power (VO(2)pk) and cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses to 80º head-up tilt (HUT). Data collected during HUT were ECG, stroke volume (SV), blood pressure (BP) and blood for catecholamines and vasoactive hormones. Heart rate (HR), cardiac output (CO), total peripheral resistance, and spectral power of BP and HR were calculated. Bed rest decreased PV, supine and HUT SV, and indices of cardiac function in both groups. Although PV was decreased in control and AG after bed rest, AG attenuated the decrease in orthostatic tolerance [pre- to post-bed rest change; control: -11.8 ± 2.0, AG: -6.0 ± 2.8 min (p = 0.012)] and VO(2)pk [pre- to post-bed rest change; control: -0.39 ± 0.11, AG: -0.17 ± 0.06 L/min (p = 0.041)]. AG prevented increases in pre-tilt levels of plasma renin activity [pre- to post-bed rest change; control: 1.53 ± 0.23, AG: -0.07 ± 0.34 ng/mL/h (p = 0.001)] and angiotensin II [pre- to post-bed rest change; control: 3.00 ± 1.04, AG: -0.63 ± 0.81 pg/mL (p = 0.009)] and increased HUT aldosterone [post-bed rest; control: 107 ± 30 pg/mL, AG: 229 ± 68 pg/mL (p = 0.045)] and norepinephrine [post-bed rest; control: 453 ± 107, AG: 732 ± 131 pg/mL (p = 0.003)]. We conclude that AG can mitigate some aspects of bed rest-induced cardiovascular deconditioning, including orthostatic intolerance and aerobic power. Mechanisms of improvement were not cardiac-mediated, but likely through improved sympathetic responsiveness to orthostatic stress.
    Arbeitsphysiologie 05/2011; 112(2):605-16. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated autonomic control of cardiovascular function in able-bodied (AB), paraplegic (PARA), and tetraplegic (TETRA) subjects in response to head-up tilt following spinal cord injury. We evaluated spectral power of blood pressure (BP), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), baroreflex effectiveness index (BEI), occurrence of systolic blood pressure (SBP) ramps, baroreflex sequences, and cross-correlation of SBP with heart rate (HR) in low (0.04-0.15 Hz)- and high (0.15-0.4 Hz)-frequency regions. During tilt, AB and PARA effectively regulated BP and HR, but TETRA did not. The numbers of SBP ramps and percentages of heartbeats involved in SBP ramps and baroreflex sequences increased in AB, were unchanged in PARA, and declined in TETRA. BRS was lowest in PARA and declined with tilt in all groups. BEI was greatest in AB and declined with tilt in all groups. Low-frequency power of BP and the peak of the SBP/HR cross-correlation magnitude were greatest in AB, increased during tilt in AB, remained unchanged in PARA, and declined in TETRA. The peak cross-correlation magnitude in HF decreased with tilt in all groups. Our data indicate that spinal cord injury results in decreased stimulation of arterial baroreceptors and less engagement of feedback control as demonstrated by lower 1) spectral power of BP, 2) number (and percentages) of SBP ramps and barosequences, 3) cross-correlation magnitude of SBP/HR, 4) BEI, and 5) changes in delay between SBP/HR. Diminished vasomotion and impaired baroreflex regulation may be major contributors to decreased orthostatic tolerance following injury.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 04/2007; 292(3):R1146-57. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orthostatic intolerance (OI) continues to be a problem experienced by astronauts upon return from spaceflight. Artificial gravity (AG) training via short radius centrifugation has been suggested as a countermeasure to this OI. The purpose of our research was to determine effects of three weeks of intermittent (+1 to +2.5Gz for 35 min/day) AG exposure on normal, ambulatory men and women. The results of this study indicate that 3 weeks of AG training improved orthostatic tolerance in a group of 14 men and 12 women by an average of 13.6%. This improvement was associated with a decrease in arterial pressure and vascular resistance, and increases in stroke volume and low frequency (0.04–0.15 Hz) arterial pressure and heart rate spectral power. These results suggest that improvement may be attributable to increased venous return possibly as a function of increased stress-induced sympathetic activity and/or vascular sympathetic responsiveness.
    Acta Astronautica. 01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that plasma galanin concentration (pGal) is regularly increased in healthy humans with extensive orthostatic stress. Twenty-six test persons (14 men, 12 women) were brought to an orthostatic end point via a progressive cardiovascular stress (PCS) protocol consisting of 70 degrees head-up tilt plus increasing levels of lower body negative pressure until either hemodynamically defined presyncope or other signs of orthostatic intolerance occurred (nausea, clammy skin, excessive sweating, pallor of the skin). We further tested for possible gender, gravitational, and muscular training influences on plasma pGal responses: PCS was applied before and after 3 wk of daily vertical acceleration exposure training on a Human Powered Centrifuge. Test persons were randomly assigned to active (with bicycle work) or passive (without work) groups (seven men, six women in each group). Resting pGal was 26+/-3 pg/ml in men and 39+/-15 pg/ml in women (not significant); women had higher galanin responses (4.9-fold increase) than men (3.5-fold, P=0.017) to PCS exposure. Overall, PCS increased pGal to 186+/-5 pg/ml (P=0.0003), without significant differences between presyncope vs. orthostatic intolerance, pre- vs. postcentrifuge, or active vs. passive gravitational training. Increases in pGal were poorly related to synchronous elevations in plasma vasopressin. We conclude that galanin is regularly increased in healthy humans under conditions of presyncopal orthostatic stress, the response being independent of gravity training but larger in women than in men.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 04/2006; 100(3):844-9. · 3.48 Impact Factor
  • ASAIO Journal 01/2006; 52(2). · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to spaceflight or simulations of microgravity reduce human postflight orthostatic tolerance. Exercise training and volume loading can reduce associated losses of plasma volume and muscle strength, but are not successful in maintaining postflight orthostatic tolerance. A preliminary study (16) indicated that short bouts of artificial gravity (AG) training on a centrifuge could increase orthostatic tolerance in healthy, ambulatory volunteers. We tested the same AG protocol for its tolerance effect on 14 men who underwent a 3-wk exposure to Gz acceleration training on NASA-Ames' (Moffet Field, CA) human-powered centrifuge. Subjects trained supine (head near the center of rotation) and in pairs (one subject rode passively while the other provided power to operate the 1.9-m centrifuge). The acceleration profile consisted of 7 min at 1 Gz before alternating between 1 and 2.5 Gz at 2-min intervals for 28 min. Each subject's presyncopal orthostatic tolerance limit (to a combination of 70 degrees head-up tilt and increasing lower body negative pressure) was determined before and after training. There were no significant differences between training groups, but presyncopal orthostatic tolerance time was improved 17 +/- 10% (p < 0.05) for the combined groups. Mechanisms associated with increased tolerance included: increased cardiac output (p < 0.04), stroke volume (p < 0.01) and low-frequency spectral power of arterial pressure (p < 0.006), and decreased arterial pressure (p < 0.05) and vascular resistance (p < 0.04). Artificial gravity training in this group of men appears to increase orthostatic tolerance through a combination of decreased vascular resistance and enhanced cardiac function.
    Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 11/2004; 75(10):850-8. · 0.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An interactive image processing program was developed to quantify the effects of various biochemical and physical factors on cultured explants of nerve tissue. We used this method to obtain a growth curve of chick embryo dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in media containing various concentrations of nerve growth factor (NGF). In the past, neurite lengths and numbers were measured manually using collages of 35 mm color photographs or made directly under the microscope. Our new program makes it possible to quantify the growth of whole live, unstained DRG's on photograph collages or digital images with respect to center area, neurite area, total explant area, and the number and length of neurites almost exclusive of background artifacts. After comparing the old and new methods, we conclude that our analysis algorithm correlates well with previously accepted protocols for assessing stimulation and inhibition of growth. It rapidly measures several biologically-relevant properties and provides a means to obtain information on six parameters (neurite area, neurite length, neurite number, center area, total area, neurite density) using a single quantitative method. Neurite area in the presence of 10 ng/ml or 20 ng/ml NGF was the most significantly increased parameter as was expected from previous studies since it includes both neurite length and number as well as any crossing fibers.
    Journal of Neuroscience Methods 08/2004; 136(2):123-31. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a leading cause of cardiac death among newborns, in which the entire left side of the heart is underdeveloped and unable to support the blood circulation. It is the most common type of single ventricle physiology (SVP) and an important need for an adjustable systemic to pulmonary artery (SPA) shunt. In order to achieve full range control of blood flow between the systemic and pulmonary circulation, an adjustable SPA shunt is being developed. SPA shunts are generally made from FDA approved polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE). A screw-plunger mechanism is being used to cause the desired constriction in the pressurized shunt. It is necessary to optimize the design of the plunger, in order to vary the cross-section of the shunt with minimum forces required. An in vitro set up consisting of a hydraulic circuit to have a constant inlet pressure to the shunt throughout the process and a certain post shunt pressure initially, plunger attached to the force gauge mounted on a stand to cause constriction and measure forces, a mounting stand to hold the shunt and its casing, a flow meter and pressure transducers, is used to determine the effect of various plunger tip shapes. It was observed that wider the plunger, lesser is the force required to cause the same reduction in flow. Flow-displacement-force variations for each plunger tip used are also presented. Results from this study will be used to determine the torque required to drive the screw plunger mechanism to cause the desired constriction.
    ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition; 01/2004
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic-pulmonary artery (SPA) shunts are connections that exist to augment pulmonary blood flow in neonates born with single ventricle physiology. An appropriate balance between the systemic and pulmonary circulations is crucial to their survival. To achieve this, an adjustable SPA shunt is being developed at our institution that consists of a 4 mm PTFE tube with a screw plunger mechanism to achieve the desired change in flow rate by increasing pulmonary resistance. To determine the effect this mechanism has on flow patterns, two in vitro models were created; an idealized model with an axisymmetric constriction and a model developed from flow phantoms of the actual shunt under various actuations. These models were used to measure the instantaneous velocity and vorticity fields using PIV. Recirculation regions downstream of the constriction were observed for both models. For the idealized model, a separation region persisted for approximately 2-5 diameters downstream with a flow range between 600-850 cc/min, corresponding to in vivo conditions and a Re of approximately 1000-1500. In the realistic test sections, shedding vortices were visible 2.5 diameters downstream on the opposing side of the imposed constriction. The flow field structure and wall skin friction of the two cases under various conditions will be discussed.
    10/2002; -1.
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    ABSTRACT: The explicit dynamic finite element method was utilized to investigate the deformation behaviour of a woven wire mesh tubular device that is used in a side-to-side anastomotic procedure for achieving gastrointestinal anastomosis. The numerical model was initially verified by comparison to experimental results that were obtained using a specialized testing mechanism. Once validated, the finite element model (FEM) was parameterized to ascertain the influence of several device parameters on its deformation behaviour. The importance of these parameters, as related to its optimal design for use in minimally invasive surgery (MIS), was subsequently ascertained and discussed.
    Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 03/2002; 5(1):53-65. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Decreased working capacity and "orthostatic" intolerance are two major problems for astronauts during and after landing from spaceflight in a return vehicle. The purpose was to test the hypotheses that (1) supine-passive-acceleration training, supine-interval-exercise plus acceleration training, and supine exercise plus acceleration training will improve orthostatic tolerance (OT) in ambulatory men; and that (2) addition of aerobic exercise conditioning will not influence this enhanced OT from that of passive-acceleration training. Seven untrained men (24-38 yr) underwent 3 training regimens (30 min/d x 5d/wk x 3wk on the human-powered centrifuge - HPC): (a) Passive acceleration (alternating +1.0 Gz to 50% Gzmax); (b) Exercise acceleration (alternating 40% - 90% V02max leg cycle exercise plus 50% of HPCmax acceleration); and (c) Combined intermittent exercise-acceleration at 40% to 90% HPCmax. Maximal supine exercise workloads increased (P < 0.05) by 8.3% with Passive, by 12.6% with Exercise, and by 15.4% with Combined; but maximal V02 and HR were unchanged in all groups. Maximal endurance (time to cessation) was unchanged with Passive, but increased (P < 0.05) with Exercise and Combined. Resting pre-tilt HR was elevated by 12.9% (P < 0.05) only after Passive training, suggesting that exercise training attenuated this HR response. All resting pre-tilt blood pressures (SBP, DBP, MAP) were not different pre- vs. post-training. Post-training tilt-tolerance time and HR were increased (P < 0.05) only with Passive training by 37.8% and by 29.1%, respectively. Thus, addition of exercise training attenuated the increased Passive tilt tolerance. Resting (pre-tilt) and post-tilt cardiac R-R interval, stroke volume, end-diastolic volume, and cardiac output were all uniformly reduced (P < 0.05) while peripheral resistance was uniformly increased (P < 0.05) pre-and post-training for the three regimens indicating no effect of any training regimen on those cardiovascular variables. Plasma volume (% delta) was uniformly decreased by 8% to 14% (P < 0.05) at tilt-tolerance pre- vs. post-training for all regimens indicating no effect of these training regimens on the level of vascular fluid shifts.
    02/2002;
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    ABSTRACT: The autonomic nervous system drives variability in heart rate, vascular tone, cardiac ejection, and arterial pressure, but gender differences in autonomic regulation of the latter three parameters are not well documented. In addition to mean values, we used spectral analysis to calculate variability in arterial pressure, heart rate (R-R interval, RRI), stroke volume, and total peripheral resistance (TPR) and measured circulating levels of catecholamines and pancreatic polypeptide in two groups of 25 +/- 1.2-yr-old, healthy men and healthy follicular-phase women (40 total subjects, 10 men and 10 women per group). Group 1 subjects were studied supine, before and after beta- and muscarinic autonomic blockades, administered singly and together on separate days of study. Group 2 subjects were studied supine and drug free with the additional measurement of skin perfusion. In the unblocked state, we found that circulating levels of epinephrine and total spectral power of stroke volume, TPR, and skin perfusion ranged from two to six times greater in men than in women. The difference (men > women) in spectral power of TPR was maintained after beta- and muscarinic blockades, suggesting that the greater oscillations of vascular resistance in men may be alpha-adrenergically mediated. Men exhibited muscarinic buffering of mean TPR whereas women exhibited beta-adrenergic buffering of mean TPR as well as TPR and heart rate oscillations. Women had a greater distribution of RRI power in the breathing frequency range and a less negative slope of ln RRI power vs. ln frequency, both indicators that parasympathetic stimuli were the dominant influence on women's heart rate variability. The results of our study suggest a predominance of sympathetic vascular regulation in men compared with a dominant parasympathetic influence on heart rate regulation in women.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 12/2001; 91(6):2611-8. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Healthy young people may become syncopal during standing, head up tilt (HUT) or lower body negative pressure (LBNP). To evaluate why this happens we measured hormonal indices of autonomic activity along with arterial pressure (AP), heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), total peripheral resistance (TPR) and measures of plasma volume. Three groups of normal volunteers (n = 56) were studied supine, before and during increasing levels of orthostatic stress: slow onset, low level, lower body negative pressure (LBNP) (Group 1), 70 degrees head up tilt (HUT) (Group 2) or rapid onset, high level, LBNP (Group 3). In all groups, syncopal subjects demonstrated a decline in TPR that paralleled the decline in AP over the last 40 s of orthostatic stress. Ten to twenty seconds after the decline in TPR. HR also started to decline but SV increased, resulting in a net increase of CO during the same period. Plasma volume (PV, calculated from change in hematocrit) declined in both syncopal and nonsyncopal subjects to a level commensurate with the stress, i.e. Group 3 > Group 2 > Group 1. The rate of decline of PV, calculated from the change in PV divided by the time of stress, was greater (p < 0.01) in syncopal than in nonsyncopal subjects. When changes in vasoactive hormones were normalized by time of stress, increases in norepinephrine (p < 0.012, Groups 2 and 3) and epinephrine (p < 0.025, Group 2) were greater and increases in plasma renin activity were smaller (p < 0.05, Group 2) in syncopal than in nonsyncopal subjects. We conclude that the presyncopal decline in blood pressure in otherwise healthy young people resulted from declining peripheral resistance associated with plateauing norepinephrine and plasma renin activity, rising epinephrine and rising blood viscosity. The increased hemoconcentration probably reflects increased rate of venous pooling rather than rate of plasma filtration and, together with cardiovascular effects of imbalances in norepinephrine, epinephrine and plasma renin activity may provide afferent information leading to syncope.
    Autonomic Neuroscience 10/2001; 93(1-2):79-90. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined differences in mechanisms of head-up tilt (HUT)-induced syncope between normal controls and patients with neurocardiogenic syncope. A variable proportion of normal individuals experience syncope during HUT. Differences in the mechanisms of HUT-mediated syncope between this group and patients with neurocardiogenic syncope have not been elucidated. A 30-min 80 degrees HUT was performed in eight HUT-negative volunteers (Group I), eight HUT-positive volunteers (Group II) and 15 patients with neurocardiogenic syncope. Heart rate and blood pressure (BP) were monitored continuously. Epinephrine and norepinephrine plasma levels, as well as left ventricular dimensions and contractility determined by echocardiography, were measured at baseline and at regular intervals during the test. The main findings of this study were the following: 1) All parameters were similar at baseline in the three groups; and 2) During tilt: a) the time to syncope was shorter in Group III than in group II (9.5 +/- 3 vs. 17 +/- 3 min p < 0.05); b) there was an immediate, persisting drop in mean BP in Group III; c) the decrease rate of left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions was greater in Group III than in Group II or Group I (-1.76 +/- 0.42 vs. -0.87 +/- 0.35 and -0.67 +/- 0.29 mm/min, respectively, p < 0.05); d) the leftventricular shortening fraction was greater in Group III than in the other two groups (39 +/- 1 vs. 34 +/- 1 and 32 +/- 1%, respectively, p < 0.05); and e) although the norepinephrine level remained comparable among the groups, there was a significantly higher peak epinephrine level in Group III than in Group II and Group I (112.3 +/- 34 vs. 77.6 +/- 10 and 65 +/- 12 pg/ml, p < 0.05). Mechanisms of syncope during HUT appeared to be different in normal volunteers and patients with neurocardiogenic syncope. In the latter, there was evidence of an impaired vascular resistance response from the beginning of the orthostatic challenge. Furthermore, in the patients there was more rapid peripheral blood pooling, as indicated by the echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular end-diastolic changes, leading to more precocious symptoms. In syncopal patients, the higher level of plasma epinephrine probably mediated the increased cardiac contractility and possibly contributed to the impaired vasoconstrictive response.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 02/2000; 35(1):188-93. · 14.09 Impact Factor