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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 896372, 10 pages
Research Article

Orthostatic Intolerance Is Independent of the Degree of Autonomic Cardiovascular Adaptation after 60 Days of Head-Down Bed Rest

1Department of Cardiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, China Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, China
2Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3State Key Laboratory of Space Medicine Fundamentals and Application, China Astronaut Research and Training Center, Beijing 100094, China

Received 30 May 2015; Revised 12 August 2015; Accepted 19 August 2015

Academic Editor: Cristiana Corsi

Copyright © 2015 Jiexin Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spaceflight and head-down bed rest (HDBR) can induce the orthostatic intolerance (OI); the mechanisms remain to be clarified. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not OI after HDBR relates to the degree of autonomic cardiovascular adaptation. Fourteen volunteers were enrolled for 60 days of HDBR. A head-up tilt test (HUTT) was performed before and after HDBR. Our data revealed that, in all nonfainters, there was a progressive increase in heart rate over the course of HDBR, which remained higher until 12 days of recovery. The mean arterial pressure gradually increased until day 56 of HDBR and returned to baseline after 12 days of recovery. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia and baroreflex sensitivity decreased during HDBR and remained suppressed until 12 days of recovery. Low-frequency power of systolic arterial pressure increased during HDBR and remained elevated during recovery. Three subjects fainted during the HUTT after HDBR, in which systemic vascular resistance did not increase and remained lower until syncope. None of the circulatory patterns significantly differed between the fainters and the nonfainters at any time point. In conclusion, our data indicate that the impaired orthostatic tolerance after HDBR could not be distinguished by estimation of normal hemodynamic and/or neurocardiac data.