Is there resetting of central venous pressure in microgravity?

V. A. Convertino, D. A. Ludwig, J. J. Elliott, C. E. Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the early phase of the Space Shuttle program, NASA flight surgeons implemented a fluid-loading countermeasure in which astronauts were instructed to ingest eight 1-g salt tablets with 960 ml of water approximately 2 hours prior to reentry from space. This fluid loading regimen was intended to enhance orthostatic tolerance by replacing circulating plasma volume reduced during the space mission. Unfortunately, fluid loading failed to replace plasma volume in groundbased experiments and has proven minimally effective as a countermeasure against post-spaceflight orthostatic intolerance. In addition to the reduction of plasma volume, central venous pressure (CVP) is reduced during exposure to actual and groundbased analogs of microgravity. In the present study, we hypothesized that the reduction in CVP due to exposure to microgravity represents a resetting of the CVP operating point to a lower threshold. A lower CVP 'setpoint' might explain the failure of fluid loading to restore plasma volume. In order to test this hypothesis, we conducted an investigation in which we administered an acute volume load (stimulus) and measured responses in CVP, plasma volume and renal functions. If our hypothesis is true, we would expect the elevation in CVP induced by saline infusion to return to its pre-infusion levels in both HDT and upright control conditions despite lower vascular volume during HDT. In contrast to previous experiments, our approach is novel in that it provides information on alterations in CVP and vascular volume during HDT that are necessary for interpretation of the proposed CVP operating point resetting hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P51-52
JournalJournal of gravitational physiology : a journal of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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