Volume 50: 71-82, 2001


Cardiovascular and Hormonal Changes with Different Angles of Head-up Tilt in Men


Volume Regulation and Space Medicine Research Group, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Karl-Franzens University and 1Institute for Adaptational and Spaceflight Physiology, Austrian Society for Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences, Graz, Austria

Received April 5, 2000
Accepted May 19, 2000

The purpose of this study was to assess the endocrine status, thoracic impedance, blood concentration, and hemodynamic dose-responses using different angles of passive head-up tilt (HUT) ranging from 12° to 70° in the same subjects. Measurements were performed during 20 min supine position (pre-HUT), 30 min upright (HUT12, HUT30, HUT53, or HUT70), and 20 min supine (post-HUT); subjects 70 min in the supine position only (HUT0) served as resting controls. Norepinephrine increased above resting control values by 19, 44, 80, and 102 %; epinephrine by 30, 41, 64, and 68 %; aldosterone by 29, 62, 139, and 165 %; plasma renin activity n. s., 41, 91, and 89 %; vasopressin n.s., 27, 47, and 59 %; thoracic bioimpedance n. s., 8, 13, and 16 %; heart rate n. s., 5, 26, and 45 %, and mean arterial pressure n. s., 5, 7, and 10 %; at min 27 of HUT12, HUT30, HUT53, and HUT70, respectively. Pulse pressure decreased with HUT53 and HUT70 by 4 and 10 %. Hematocrit increased by 0.2, 1.7, 6.3, and 7.2 %, respectively. Blood density increased by 2.3 and 3.0 g/l, plasma density by 1.7 and 1.8 g/l with HUT53 and HUT70. After finishing HUT, heart rate fell to values which stayed below pre-HUT, and also below resting control levels for ł 5 min ("post-orthostatic bradycardia") even after the lowest orthostatic load (HUT12). Thoracic impedance and arterial pressure remained increased after terminating HUT30, HUT53, and HUT70. In conclusion, passive orthostatic loading of different extent produces specific dose-responses of different magnitude in the endocrine system, blood composition, thoracic impedance, and hemodynamic variables. The heart rate is depressed even after HUT12, while arterial blood pressure and thoracic impedance exceed pre-stimulus levels after greater head-up tilt, indicating altered cardiovascular response after passive orthostasis.

Key words
Cardiopulmonary baroreceptors · Thoracic electrical bioimpedance · Blood volume · Catecholamines · Arginine vasopressin (AVP)

Reprint requests
Z. László, Weiss Manfréd Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Déli u. 11, H-1211 Budapest, Hungary, fax: +36-1-276-1767


© 2001 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences

ISSN 0862 - 8408

Issue 1