Lower body muscle mass and lower body negative pressure tolerance in men and women

L. A. Lawler, S. L. Mulvagh, J. R. Halliwill, M. J. Joyner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To explore the hypothesis that lower body muscle mass might be associated with orthostatic intolerance, 18 healthy volunteers (18-48 yrs, 10 ♂, 8 ♀) underwent graded lower body negative pressure (LBNP) consisting of six, 5-minute stages of suction up to 60 mmHg in 10mmHg increments. Leg muscle mass was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. All subjects received standard intravenous hydration for 12-16 hours prior to the study. Six men and 4 women completed each stage of LBNP. Four men and 4 women developed pre-syncopal symptoms, including marked bradycardia, at LBNP levels of 30 mmHg (n=2; 1 ♂, 1 ♀), 40 mmHg (n=2; 1 ♂, 1 female;), and 50 mmHg (n=4; 2 ♂, 2 female;). The pre-syncopal subjects had leg muscle masses ranging from 19.5 kg to 25.2 kg in men (SEM=1.04), and 11.7 kg to 16.6 kg in women (SEM=1.04). In subjects that completed all stages of LBNP, leg muscle mass ranged from 17.5 kg to 24.1 kg in men (SEM=1.04), and 10.4 kg to 18.0 kg in women (SEM =1.61). These data suggest that leg muscle mass is not a critical determinant of LBNP tolerance in otherwise healthy men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A96
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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