Preservation of postural control of transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations in patients with reflux oesophagitis.
INTRODUCTION: In normal subjects, transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations (TLOSRs) and gas reflux during belching are suppressed in the supine position. Supine reflux, however, is a feature of reflux disease. AIMS: To investigate whether postural suppression of TLOSRs and gas reflux is impaired in patients with reflux disease. PATIENTS: Ten patients with erosive oesophagitis. METHODS: Oesophageal manometry was performed during gastric distension with 750 ml carbon dioxide. Measurements were made for 10 minutes before and after distension in both sitting and supine positions. RESULTS: In the sitting position gastric distension substantially increased the rate of gas reflux (median (interquartile range)), as evidenced by increases in oesophageal common cavities from 1 (0-1)/10 min to 7 (5-10)/10 min and TLOSRs from 1 (1-1.5)/10 min to 6 (2.5-8)/10 min. However, this effect was suppressed in the supine position in all but one patient (TLOSRs 0 (0)/10 min to 1 (0-4.5)/10 min, common cavities 0 (0)/10 min to 0.5 (0-2)/10 min). CONCLUSIONS: Postural suppression of TLOSRs and gas reflux is generally preserved in reflux disease. (+info
Differences in heart rate variability between young and elderly normal men during graded head up tilt.
An autoregressive spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) was used to analyze the differences in autonomic functions during graded head up tilt (HUT) between young and elderly men. After recording at the 0 degree position, the table was rotated to an upright position. The incline of the table was increased progressively to 15 degrees, 30 degrees and 60 degrees. The data obtained from seven young subjects (mean age of 20.0 years) and nine elderly subjects (mean age of 63.3 years) were analyzed. The high frequency components expressed by normalized units (HFnu) were used as the parasympathetic indicators, and HFnu decreased with tilt angle in both age groups. These results suggested that parasympathetic withdrawal have an important role in adaptation to an upright posture in both age groups. However, mean HF amplitude at the 0 degree position in elderly men was not significantly different from that of young men at 60 degrees tilt. A significant interaction effect (age group x tilt angle) was found for mean HF amplitude. The increase of the low frequency components expressed by normalized units (LFnu) and the LF-to-HF ratio in elderly subjects from 0 degree to 15 degrees seemed to be larger than that in young subjects. Sympathetic activities may be sensitive to lower levels of orthostatic stress in the elderly, and the elderly workers are easily affected by a change in workload. Therefore, keeping the workload lower and constant may be recommended to avoid excessive sympathetic activation among the elderly. (+info
Effect of obesity and erect/supine posture on lateral cephalometry: relationship to sleep-disordered breathing.
Craniofacial and upper airway anatomy, obesity and posture may all play a role in compromising upper airway patency in patients with the sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between obesity, facial structure and severity of sleep-disordered breathing using lateral cephalometric measurements and to assess the effect of body posture on cephalometric measurements of upper airway calibre variables in obese and non-obese subjects. Lateral cephalometry was carried out in erect and supine postures in 73 awake male subjects randomly selected from patients referred for polysomnography who had a wide range of apnoea/hypopnoea frequencies (1-131 events x h sleep(-1)). Subjects were divided into non-obese (body mass index (BMI) < 30 kg x m(-2); n=42) and obese (BMI > or = 30 kg x m(-2); n=31) groups. Significant but weak correlations were found between apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI) and measurements reflecting upper airway dimensions: uvular protrusion-posterior pharyngeal wall (r=-0.26, p<0.05) and hyoid-posterior pharyngeal wall (r=0.26, p<0.05). Multiple regression using both upper airway dimensions improved the correlation to AHI (r=0.34, p=0.01). Obese subjects had greater hyoid-posterior pharyngeal wall distances than non-obese subjects, both erect (42+/-5 versus 39+/-4 mm, respectively (mean+/-SD) p<0.01) and supine (43+/-5 versus 40+/-4 mm, p<0.05). Skeletal craniofacial structure was similar in obese and non-obese subjects. In conclusion, measurements reflecting upper airway size were correlated with the severity of sleep-disordered breathing. Differences in upper airway size measurements between obese and non-obese subjects were independent of bony craniofacial structure. (+info
Mechanism for the posture-specific plasma volume increase after a single intense exercise protocol.
To test the hypothesis that exercise-induced hypervolemia is a posture-dependent process, we measured plasma volume, plasma albumin content, and renal function in seven healthy subjects for 22 h after single upright (Up) or supine (Sup) intense (85% peak oxygen consumption rate) exercise. This posture was maintained for 5 h after exercise. Plasma volume decreased during exercise but returned to control levels by 5 h of recovery in both postures. By 22 h of recovery, plasma volume increased 2.4 +/- 0.8 ml/kg in Up but decreased 2.1 +/- 0.8 ml/kg in Sup. The plasma volume expansion in Up was accompanied by an increase in plasma albumin content (0.11 +/- 0.04 g/kg; P < 0.05). Plasma albumin content was unchanged in Sup. Urine volume and sodium clearance were lower in Up than Sup (P < 0.05) by 5 h of recovery. These data suggest that increased plasma albumin content contributes to the acute phase of exercise-induced hypervolemia. More importantly, the mechanism by which exercise influences the distribution of albumin between extra- and intravascular stores after exercise is altered by posture and is unknown. We speculate that factors associated with postural changes (e.g., central venous pressure) modify the increase in plasma albumin content and the plasma volume expansion after exercise. (+info
Breathing responses to small inspiratory threshold loads in humans.
To investiage the effect of inspiratory threshold load (ITL) on breathing, all previous work studied loads that were much greater than would be encountered under pathophysiological conditions. We hypothesized that mild ITL from 2.5 to 20 cmH2O is sufficient to modify control and sensation of breathing. The study was performed in healthy subjects. The results demonstrated that with mild ITL 1) inspiratory difficulty sensation could be perceived at an ITL of 2.5 cmH2O; 2) tidal volume increased without change in breathing frequency, resulting in hyperpnea; and 3) although additional time was required for inspiratory pressure to attain the threshold before inspiratory flow was initiated, the total inspiratory muscle contraction time remained constant. This resulted in shortening of the available time for inspiratory flow, so that the tidal volume was maintained or increased by significant increase in mean inspiratory flow. On the basis of computer simulation, we conclude that the mild ITL is sufficient to increase breathing sensation and alter breathing control, presumably aiming at maintaining a certain level of ventilation but minimizing the energy consumption of the inspiratory muscles. (+info
System identification of closed-loop cardiovascular control mechanisms: diabetic autonomic neuropathy.
We applied cardiovascular system identification (CSI) to characterize closed-loop cardiovascular regulation in patients with diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN). The CSI method quantitatively analyzes beat-to-beat fluctuations in noninvasively measured heart rate, arterial blood pressure (ABP), and instantaneous lung volume (ILV) to characterize four physiological coupling mechanisms, two of which are autonomically mediated (the heart rate baroreflex and the coupling of respiration, measured in terms of ILV, to heart rate) and two of which are mechanically mediated (the coupling of ventricular contraction to the generation of the ABP wavelet and the coupling of respiration to ABP). We studied 37 control and 60 diabetic subjects who were classified as having minimal, moderate, or severe DAN on the basis of standard autonomic tests. The autonomically mediated couplings progressively decreased with increasing severity of DAN, whereas the mechanically mediated couplings were essentially unchanged. CSI identified differences between the minimal DAN and control groups, which were indistinguishable based on the standard autonomic tests. CSI may provide a powerful tool for assessing DAN. (+info
Brain activation during maintenance of standing postures in humans.
The regulatory mechanism of bipedal standing in humans remains to be elucidated. We investigated neural substrates for maintaining standing postures in humans using PET with our mobile gantry PET system. Normal volunteers were instructed to adopt several postures: supine with eyes open toward a target; standing with feet together and eyes open or eyes closed; and standing on one foot or with two feet in a tandem relationship with eyes open toward the target. Compared with the supine posture, standing with feet together activated the cerebellar anterior lobe and the right visual cortex (Brodmann area 18/19), and standing on one foot increased cerebral blood flow in the cerebellar anterior vermis and the posterior lobe lateral cortex ipsilateral to the weight-bearing side. Standing in tandem was accompanied by activation within the visual association cortex, the anterior and posterior vermis as well as within the midbrain. Standing with eyes closed activated the prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 8/9). Our findings confirmed that the cerebellar vermis efferent system plays an important role in maintenance of standing posture and suggested that the visual association cortex may subserve regulating postural equilibrium while standing. (+info
Effects of moderate exercise training on plasma volume, baroreceptor sensitivity and orthostatic tolerance in healthy subjects.
The effect of physical training on an individual's ability to withstand an orthostatic stress is unclear. This study was undertaken to determine the effects on orthostatic tolerance in healthy volunteers of training at a level appropriate for unfit subjects and cardiorespiratory patients. In 11 asymptomatic, untrained subjects the following assessments were made: plasma volume by Evans Blue dye dilution and blood volume derived from haematocrit; carotid baroreceptor sensitivity from the slope of the regression of change in cardiac interval against pressure applied to a neck chamber; orthostatic tolerance as time to presyncope in a test of head-up tilting combined with lower body suction; exercise test relating heart rate to oxygen consumption. Subjects were then given a training schedule (5BX/XBX, Royal Canadian Air Force) involving 11-12 min of mixed exercises per day until an age/sex related 'target' was reached. Following training all subjects showed evidence of improved fitness, seen as decreases in heart rate at an oxygen uptake (Vo2) of 1.5 1 min-1 and in the elevation of the regression line between heart rate and Vo2. All also had increases in plasma and blood volumes and decreases in baroreceptor sensitivity. Seven of the subjects showed increases in orthostatic tolerance. Improvement in orthostatic tolerance was related to a low initial tolerance, and was associated with increases in plasma volume and decreases in baroreceptor sensitivity. These results show that moderate exercise training increases orthostatic tolerance in subjects who do not already have a high initial tolerance and suggest that training may be of value in the management of untrained patients with attacks of syncope due to orthostatic intolerance. (+info