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Journal Articles Journal of Applied Physiology Year : 2019

Vestibulo-sympathetic reflex in patients with bilateral vestibular loss


This study assessed cardiovascular control during head-down neck flexion (HDNF) in a group of patients suffering from total bilateral idiopathic vestibular loss (BVL) for 7 ± 2 yr. Nine adult patients (age 54 ± 6 yr) with BVL were recruited. Calf blood flow (CBF), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and heart rate (HR) were measured with subjects’ eyes closed in two lying body positions: ventral prone (VP) and lateral (LP) on the left side. Vascular resistance (CVR) was calculated as MAP/CBF. The HDNF protocol consisted in passively changing the head position: head up (HU)–head down (HD)–HU. Measurements were taken twice at each head position. In VP CBF significantly decreased in HD (3.65 ± 0.65 mL·min−1·100 mL−1) vs. HU (4.64 ± 0.71 mL·min−1·100 mL−1) (P < 0.002), whereas CVR in VP significantly rose in HD (31.87 ± 6.93 arbitrary units) vs. HU (25.61 ± 6.36 arbitrary units) (P < 0.01). In LP no change in CBF or CVR was found between the two head positions. MAP and HR presented no difference between HU and HD in both body positions. Age of patients did not significantly affect the results. The decrease in CBF of the BVL patients was similar to the decrease observed with the same HDNF protocol in normal subjects. This suggests a sensory compensation for the lost vestibular inputs that could originate from the integration of inputs from trunk graviceptors and proprioceptive and cutaneous receptors. Another possibility is that the HDNF vascular effect is evoked mostly by nonlabyrinthine sensors

Dates and versions

hal-02328339 , version 1 (23-10-2019)



Olga Kuldavletova, Pierre F Denise, Gaëlle Quarck, Michel Toupet, Hervé Normand. Vestibulo-sympathetic reflex in patients with bilateral vestibular loss. Journal of Applied Physiology, inPress, 127 (5), pp.1238-1244. ⟨10.1152/japplphysiol.00466.2019⟩. ⟨hal-02328339⟩
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