Lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) has been proposed as a MRI-compatible surrogate for orthostatic stress. Although the effects of LBNP on cerebral hemodynamic behavior have been considered to reflect those of orthostatic stress, a direct comparison with actual orthostasis is lacking. We assessed the effects of LBNP (−50 mmHg) vs. head-up tilt (HUT; at 70°) in 10 healthy subjects (5 female) on transcranial Doppler-determined cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) in the middle cerebral artery and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) as estimated from the blood pressure signal (finger plethysmography). CPP was maintained during LBNP but decreased after 2 min in response to HUT, leading to an ~15% difference in CPP between LBNP and HUT (P ≤ 0.020). Mean CBFv initially decreased similarly in response to LBNP and for HUT, but, from minute 3 on, the decline became ~50% smaller (P ≤ 0.029) during LBNP. The reduction in end-tidal Pco2 partial pressure (PetCO2) was comparable but with an earlier return toward baseline values in response to LBNP but not during HUT (P = 0.008). We consider the larger decrease in CBFv during HUT vs. LBNP attributable to the pronounced reduction in PetCO2 and to gravitational influences on CPP, and this should be taken into account when applying LBNP as an MRI-compatible orthostatic stress modality.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY Lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) has the potential to serve as a MRI-compatible surrogate of orthostatic stress but a comparison with actual orthostasis was lacking. This study showed that the pronounced reduction in end-tidal Pco2 together with gravitational effects on the brain circulation lead to a larger decline in cerebral blood flow velocity in response to head-up tilt than during lower-body negative pressure. This should be taken into account when employing lower-body negative pressure as MRI-compatible alternative to orthostatic stress.
- cerebral hemodynamics
- orthostatic stress
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