We evaluated the usefulness of measurements of the inferior vena cava (IVC) diameters on abdominal echograms as an indicator of changes of venous return in subjects with orthostatic intolerance (OI) induced by simulated microgravity. We performed a standing test and recorded the IVC diameters on abdominal echograms in 12 subjects placed on a 20-day 6° head-down-tilt bed-rest experiment. We found that different patterns of changes in IVC diameter occurred in the standing test on day 10 of the experiment; in five subjects with a marginal decrease in pulse pressure, IVC diameters in the upright position were markedly decreased compared with those in the supine position. In five subjects with feelings of discomfort, the IVC diameters in the upright position distended or did not decrease from those in the supine position. These results suggested that the changes in IVC diameter on the standing test indicated the presence of various types of hemodynamic responses of OI caused by simulated microgravity. In this study, we also evaluated changes in body-water compartments by conducting multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. Longitudinal data analysis showed that the total body-water-to-fat-free mass and extracellular fluid-to-fat-free mass ratios decreased during the experimental period and recovered thereafter, and that the ratio of intracellular fluid to fat-free mass decreased during the experiment. No significant difference in changes in body-water compartments was seen among subjects with different patterns of changes in IVC diameters. Measurement of IVC diameter was useful to estimate hemodynamic changes in subjects with OI.
ASJC Scopus subject areas