Orthostatic instability is one of the main consequences of weightlessness or gravity challenge and plays as well a crucial role in public health, being one of the most frequent disease of aging. Therefore, the assessment of effective countermeasures, or even the possibility to predict, and thus prevent orthostatic instability is of great importance. Heat stress affects orthostatic stability and may lead to impaired consciousness and decrease in cerebral perfusion, specifically during the exposure to G-forces. Conversely, peripheral cooling can prevent orthostatic intolerance - even in normothermic healthy subjects. Indicators of peripheral vasodilation, as elevated skin surface temperatures, may mirror blood decentralization and an increased risk of orthostatic instability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify orthostatic instability risk, by assessing in 20 fighter jet pilot candidates' cutaneous limb temperatures, with respect to the occurrence of G-force-induced almost loss of consciousness (ALOC), before and during exposure to a push-pull maneuver, i.e., head-down tilt, combined with lower body negative pressure. Peripheral skin temperatures from the upper and lower (both proximal and distal) extremities and core body temperature via heat-flux approach (i.e., the Double Sensor), were continuously measured before and during the maneuver. The 55% of subjects that suffered an ALOC during the procedure had higher upper arm and thigh temperatures at baseline compared to the 45% that remained stable. No difference in baseline core body temperature and distal limbs (both upper and lower) skin temperatures were found between the two groups. Therefore, peripheral skin temperature data could be considered a predicting factor for ALOC, prior to rapid onset acceleration. Moreover, these findings could also find applications in patient care settings such as in intensive care units.
lower body negative pressure
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::610 Medizin und Gesundheit::610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Limb skin temperature as a tool to predict orthostatic instability
Frontiers in Physiology
Frontiers Media S.A.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin