The effects of variations in the anti-G straining maneuver on blood pressure at +Gz acceleration.
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The increase in blood pressure provided by the standard AGSM is caused by both the contraction of the muscles of the lower body and by an increased intrathoracic pressure due to a respiratory straining (Valsalva) maneuver. This study examined the relative effectiveness and fatigability of the two components at +1 Gz and during +Gz acceleration in a human centrifuge. Brachial arterial pressure was recorded from a pressure-tip transducer in six subjects performing isometric leg presses only and on a separate occasion while performing respiratory straining only. Measurements were made over a range of intensities for the leg press contractions and Valsalva maneuvers and were conducted at +1 Gz and during slow and rapid onset runs up to +5 Gz in a human centrifuge. Blood pressure was also recorded during pulsing or intermittent contractions of the legs. We found it difficult to completely separate the blood pressure response to the leg press component from that of the respiratory straining alone component, since a moderate respiratory straining maneuver usually accompanied forceful contractions of the legs. We conclude, however, that a major portion of the elevation in blood pressure caused by the AGSM can be attributed to contraction of the muscles of the lower body and that this component is less fatiguing than the respiratory straining component. At +1 Gz a pulsing isometric contraction of the legs was no more effective in elevating blood pressure than a constant isometric contraction over the same duration.
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