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Human studies suggest that cardiovascular neural sympathetic control is predominantly modulated by the right cerebral hemisphere. It is unknown whether post-ganglionic sympathetic activity [muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA)] shows any functional asymmetry. Eight right-handed volunteers (3 women and 5 men, 32 +/- 2 yr of age) underwent ECG, beat-by-beat blood pressure, respiratory activity, and simultaneous right and left MSNA recordings during spontaneous and controlled breathing (CB, 15 breaths/min, 0.25 Hz). Dynamic carotid baroreceptor stimulation was obtained by 0.1-Hz sinusoidal suction, from 0 to -50 mmHg, randomly applied to the right, left, and combined right and left sides of the neck during CB. Laterality was assessed by changes in the MSNA burst rate (in bursts/min, and bursts/100 beats), strength [amplitude (A) and area (AA)], and the oscillatory component at 0.1 Hz during baroreceptor stimulation. Amplitude parameters were normalized by CB burst mean amplitude and area of the same side. At rest, the right and left MSNA burst rate and total MSNA activity were similar. Conversely, the right MSNA normalized burst A(N) (1.36 +/- 0.18) and AA(N) (1.31 +/- 0.16) were larger than the left MSNA A(N) (1.04 +/- 0.09) and AA(N) (1.02 +/- 0.08). Unilateral and bilateral carotid baroreflex stimulation abolished the right prevalence of A(N) and AA(N). In conclusion, the right lateralization of sympathetic activity to the vessels is indicated by normalized burst strength parameters of bilateral MSNA recordings at rest during spontaneous breathing. Carotid baroreceptor stimulation disrupted such expression of MSNA lateralization possibly by disturbing the synchronizing action of right cerebral hemisphere.
A troublesome source of physiological noise in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is due to the spatio-temporal modulation of the magnetic field in the brain caused by normal subject respiration. fMRI data acquired using echo-planar imaging are very sensitive to these respiratory-induced frequency offsets, which cause significant geometric distortions in images. Because these effects increase with main magnetic field, they can nullify the gains in statistical power expected by the use of higher magnetic fields. As a study of existing navigator correction techniques for echo-planar fMRI has shown that further improvements can be made in the suppression of respiratory-induced physiological noise, a new hybrid two-dimensional (2D) navigator is proposed. Using a priori knowledge of the slow spatial variations of these induced frequency offsets, 2D field maps are constructed for each shot using spatial frequencies between +/-0.5 cm(-1) in k-space. For multi-shot fMRI experiments, we estimate that the improvement of hybrid 2D navigator correction over the best performance of one-dimensional navigator echo correction translates into a 15% increase in the volume of activation, 6% and 10% increases in the maximum and average t-statistics, respectively, for regions with high t-statistics, and 71% and 56% increases in the maximum and average t-statistics, respectively, in regions with low t-statistics due to contamination by residual physiological noise.
Impaired autonomic control represents a cardiovascular risk factor during long-term spaceflight. Little has been reported on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and heart rate variability (HRV) during and after prolonged spaceflight. We tested the hypothesis that cardiovascular control remains stable during prolonged spaceflight. Electrocardiography, photoplethysmography, and respiratory frequency (RF) were assessed in eight male cosmonauts (age 41-50 yr, body-mass index of 22-28 kg/m2) during long-term missions (flight lengths of 162-196 days). Recordings were made 60 and 30 days before the flight, every 4 wk during flight, and on days 3 and 6 postflight during spontaneous and controlled respiration. Orthostatic testing was performed pre- and postflight. RF and BP decreased during spaceflight (P < 0.05). Mean HR and HRV in the low- and high-frequency bands did not change during spaceflight. However, the individual responses were different and correlated with preflight values. Pulse-wave transit time decreased during spaceflight (P < 0.05). HRV reached during controlled respiration (6 breaths/min) decreased in six and increased in one cosmonaut during flight. The most pronounced changes in HR, BP, and HRV occurred after landing. The decreases in BP and RF combined with stable HR and HRV during flight suggest functional adaptation rather than pathological changes. Pulse-wave transit time shortening in our study is surprising and may reflect cardiac output redistribution in space. The decrease in HRV during controlled respiration (6 breaths/min) indicates reduced parasympathetic reserve, which may contribute to postflight disturbances.
We propose a simple moving-average (MA) model that uses the low-frequency (LF) component of the peroneal muscle sympathetic nerve spike rate (LF(spike rate)) and the high-frequency (HF) component of respiration (HF(Resp)) to describe the LF neurovascular fluctuations and the HF mechanical oscillations in systolic blood pressure (SBP), respectively. This method was validated by data from eight healthy subjects (23-47 yr old, 6 male, 2 female) during a graded tilt (15 degrees increments every 5 min to a 60 degrees angle). The LF component of SBP (LF(SBP)) had a strong baroreflex-mediated feedback correlation with LF(spike rate) (r = -0.69 +/- 0.05) and also a strong feedforward relation to LF(spike rate) [r = 0.58 +/- 0.03 with LF(SBP) delay (tau) = 5.625 +/- 0.15 s]. The HF components of spike rate (HF(spike rate)) and SBP (HF(SBP)) were not significantly correlated. Conversely, HF(Resp) and HF(SBP) were highly correlated (r = -0.79 +/- 0.04), whereas LF(Resp) and LF(SBP) were significantly less correlated (r = 0.45 +/- 0.08). The mean correlation coefficients between the measured and model-predicted LF(SBP) (r = 0.74 +/- 0.03) in the supine position did not change significantly during tilt. The mean correlation between the measured and model-predicted HF(SBP) was 0.89 +/- 0.02 in the supine position. R(2) values for the regression analysis of the model-predicted and measured LF and HF powers indicate that 78 and 91% of the variability in power can be explained by the linear relation of LF(spike rate) to LF(SBP) and HF(Resp) to HF(SBP). We report a simple two-component model using neural sympathetic and mechanical respiratory inputs that can explain the majority of blood pressure fluctuation at rest and during orthostatic stress in healthy subjects.
The analysis of magnetogastrographic (MGG) signals has been limited to epochs of data with limited interference from extraneous signal components that are often present and may even dominate MGG data. Such artifacts can be of both biological (cardiac, intestinal and muscular activities, motion artifacts, etc) and non-biological (environmental noise) origin. Conventional methods-such as Butterworth and Tchebyshev filters-can be of great use, but there are many disadvantages associated with them as well as with other typical filtering methods because a large amount of useful biological information can be lost, and there are many trade-offs between various filtering methods. Moreover, conventional filtering cannot always fully address the physicality of the signal-processing problem in terms of extracting specific signals due to particular biological sources of interest such as the stomach, heart and bowel. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of fast independent component analysis (FICA) for the removal of both biological and non-biological artifacts from multi-channel MGG recordings acquired using a superconducting quantum intereference device (SQUID) magnetometer. Specifically, we show that the signal of gastric electrical control activity (ECA) can be isolated from SQUID data as an independent component even in the presence of severe motion, cardiac and respiratory artifacts. The accuracy of the method is analyzed by comparing FICA-extracted versus electrode-measured respiratory signals. It is concluded that, with this method, reliable results may be obtained for a wide array of magnetic recording scenarios.
The ventilatory responses to CO(2) of high-altitude (HA) natives and patients with chronic mountain sickness (CMS) were studied and compared with sea-level (SL) natives living at SL. A multifrequency binary sequence (MFBS) in end-tidal Pco(2) was employed to separate the fast (peripheral) and slow (central) components of the chemoreflex response. MFBS was imposed against a background of both euoxia (end-tidal Po(2) of 100 Torr) and hypoxia (52.5 Torr). Both total and central chemoreflex sensitivity to CO(2) in euoxia were higher in HA and CMS subjects compared with SL subjects. Peripheral chemoreflex sensitivity to CO(2) in euoxia was higher in HA subjects than in SL subjects. Hypoxia induced a greater increase in total chemoreflex sensitivity to CO(2) in SL subjects than in HA and CMS subjects, but peripheral chemoreflex sensitivity to CO(2) in hypoxia was no greater in SL subjects than in HA and CMS subjects. Values for the slow (central) time constant were significantly greater for HA and CMS subjects than for SL subjects.
Sea-level (SL) natives acclimatizing to high altitude (HA) increase their acute ventilatory response to hypoxia (AHVR), but HA natives have values for AHVR below those for SL natives at SL (blunting). HA natives who live at SL retain some blunting of AHVR and have more marked blunting to sustained (20-min) hypoxia. This study addressed the question of what happens when HA natives resident at SL return to HA: do they acclimatize like SL natives or revert to the characteristics of HA natives? Fifteen HA natives resident at SL were studied, together with 15 SL natives as controls. Air-breathing end-tidal Pco(2) and AHVR were determined at SL. Subjects were then transported to 4,300 m, where these measurements were repeated on each of the following 5 days. There were no significant differences in the magnitude or time course of the changes in end-tidal Pco(2) and AHVR between the two groups. We conclude that HA natives normally resident at SL undergo ventilatory acclimatization to HA in the same manner as SL natives.
High-altitude (HA) natives have blunted ventilatory responses to hypoxia (HVR), but studies differ as to whether this blunting is lost when HA natives migrate to live at sea level (SL), possibly because HVR has been assessed with different durations of hypoxic exposure (acute vs. sustained). To investigate this, 50 HA natives (>3,500 m, for >20 yr) now resident at SL were compared with 50 SL natives as controls. Isocapnic HVR was assessed by using two protocols: protocol 1, progressive stepwise induction of hypoxia over 5-6 min; and protocol 2, sustained (20-min) hypoxia (end-tidal Po(2) = 50 Torr). Acute HVR was assessed from both protocols, and sustained HVR from protocol 2. For HA natives, acute HVR was 79% [95% confidence interval (CI): 52-106%, P = not significant] of SL controls for protocol 1 and 74% (95% CI: 52-96%, P < 0.05) for protocol 2. By contrast, sustained HVR after 20-min hypoxia was only 30% (95% CI: -7-67%, P < 0.001) of SL control values. The persistent blunting of HVR of HA natives resident at SL is substantially less to acute than to sustained hypoxia, when hypoxic ventilatory depression can develop.
OBJECTIVE - Hypoproteinemia, fluid retention, and weight gain are associated with development of acute lung injury and mortality in critically ill patients, without proof of cause and effect. We designed a clinical trial to determine whether diuresis and colloid replacement in hypoproteinemic patients with acute lung injury would improve pulmonary physiology.
DESIGN - Prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
SETTING - All adult intensive care units from two university hospitals.
PATIENTS - Thirty-seven mechanically-ventilated patients with acute lung injury and serum total protein =5.0 g/dL.
INTERVENTIONS - Five-day protocolized regimen of 25 g of human serum albumin every 8 hrs with continuous infusion furosemide, or dual placebo, targeted to diuresis, weight loss, and serum total protein.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - Measured outcomes included change in weight, serum total protein, fluid balance, hemodynamics, respiratory system compliance, and oxygenation. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups (treatment, n = 19; control, n = 18), with trauma being the major cause of acute lung injury. Diuresis and weight loss over 5 days (5.3 kg more in the treatment group, p =.04) was accompanied by improvements in the Pao2/Fio2 ratio in the treatment group within 24 hrs (from 171 to 236, p =.02). Respiratory mechanics were unchanged. Mean arterial pressure increased from 80 to 88 mm Hg (p =.10), and heart rate decreased from 110 to 95 beats/min (p =.008) over time in the treatment group. No difference in mortality was observed, with favorable trends in measures of intensive care.
CONCLUSIONS - Albumin and furosemide therapy improves fluid balance, oxygenation, and hemodynamics in hypoproteinemic patients with acute lung injury. Determining the effect of this simple therapy on cost, outcomes, and other patient populations requires further study.
We evaluated autonomic cardiovascular regulation in subjects with polycythemia and chronic mountain sickness (CMS) and tested the hypothesis that an increase in arterial oxygen saturation has a beneficial effect on arterial baroreflex sensitivity in these subjects. Ten Andean natives with a Hct >65% and 10 natives with a Hct <60%, all living permanently at an altitude of 4,300 m, were included in the study. Cardiovascular autonomic regulation was evaluated by spectral analysis of hemodynamic parameters, while subjects breathed spontaneously or frequency controlled at 0.1 and 0.25 Hz, respectively. The recordings were repeated after a 1-h administration of supplemental oxygen and after frequency-controlled breathing at 6 breaths/min for 1 h, respectively. Subjects with Hct >65% showed an increased incidence of CMS compared with subjects with Hct <60%. Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity was significantly lower in subjects with high Hct compared with the control group. The effects of supplemental oxygen or modification of the breathing pattern on autonomic function were as follows: 1) heart rate decreased significantly after both maneuvers in both groups, and 2) spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity increased significantly in subjects with high Hct and did not differ from subjects with low Hct. Temporary slow-frequency breathing may provide a beneficial effect on the autonomic cardiovascular function in high-altitude natives with CMS.