Reproducibility of the alterations in circulation and cerebral oxygenation from supine rest to head-up tilt


Cardiovascular stability, as affected by several diseases, may be assessed by head-up tilt testing. Follow-up studies are essential in both evaluating interventions and assessing progression. However, data on the reproducibility of the changes in circulatory status and cerebral oxygenation provoked by head-up tilt testing are fundamental to follow-up studies. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess the reproducibility of the alterations in stroke volume (SV), mean arterial pressure (MAP), as well as oxygenated ([O2Hb]) and deoxygenated haemoglobin ([HHb]) concentration in cerebral tissue from supine rest (SUP) to head-up tilt (HUT). SV was calculated by Modelflow, a pulse contour method, from the finger arterial pressure wave measured by Portapres, the portable version of Finapres. [O2Hb] and [HHb] were measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIPS). Ten healthy individuals visited the laboratory on two different days. On both days, they underwent 10 min SUP followed by 10 min 70°HUT twice. SV decreased, which was (in part) compensated for by an increased heart rate, while MAP increased slightly during HUT compared with SUP. Although [HHb] increased during HUT, no presyncope symptoms were experienced. The circulatory variables (SV, HR and MAP) as well as [HHb] showed an acceptably small systematic and random error as well as reproducibility error compared with the observed difference between HUT and SUP and were similar between and within visits. Therefore, it is concluded that MAP measured by Portapres and SV calculated by Modelflow as well as HHb measured by NIRS seem to be reproducible and may therefore be used in follow-up studies.

Clinical Physiology