Inspiratory impedance effects on hemodynamic responses to orthostasis in normal subjects

Victor A. Convertino, Duane A. Ratliff, Kevin C. Eisenhower, Colie Warren, Donald F. Doerr, Ahamed H. Idris, Keith G Lurie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Breathing through an impedance threshold device (ITD) might prove effective as a countermeasure against post-spaceflight orthostatic hypotension since it increased blood pressure (BP) and cardiac output in supine human subjects. Objective: We tested the hypothesis that spontaneous breathing through an ITD would attenuate the reduction in stroke volume and BP during orthostasis in human subjects. Methods: There were 19 volunteers (10 men, 9 women) who completed two 80° head-up tilt (HUT) protocols with (active) and without (sham control) an ITD set to open at -7 cm H2O pressure. Heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were measured non-invasively during transition from supine to HUT. Results: HUT caused significant elevation in HR and reductions in SV, CO, TPR, and MAP. Hemodynamic effects of HUT were similar for sham and active ITD. Further analysis revealed a subset (n = 11) of subjects who demonstrated a > 20% decrease in SV during HUT with the sham ITD. In this subset of subjects, the ITD attenuated (p = 0.004) the %ΔSV (-22.5 ± 3.0%) during HUT compared with the sham ITD (%ΔSV = -37.4 ± 2.6%). There was no statistical effect of ITD use in the subgroup who demonstrated < 20% reduction in SV (-16.6 ± 0.4%). Conclusions: Use of an ITD may provide significant protection against orthostatic compromise in individuals with greater than 20% reductions in SV, such as astronauts returning from space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-493
Number of pages8
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Cardiac output
  • Heart rate
  • Hypotension
  • Impedance threshold device
  • Peripheral vascular resistance
  • Respiration
  • Stroke volume
  • Tilt test


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