PMID: 18785362Sep 13, 2008Paper

An electrical muscle stimulation suit for increasing blood pressure

Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
Ulf BalldinJames Kisner


Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is used to strengthen muscles in rehabilitation of patients and for training of athletes. Voluntary muscle straining and an inflated anti-G suit increase the arterial blood pressure (BP) and give a pilot G protection during increased +Gz. This study's aim was to measure whether BP also increases with EMS of lower body muscles. A suit with new cloth electrodes sewn into the garment was developed. There were 12 subjects who were tested in sitting position during 3 conditions with 10 consecutive periods of EMS, inflated anti-G suit (GS), or lower body muscle anti-G straining maneuvers (AGSM). BP was continuously measured noninvasively. The means of the baseline systolic BP, before each of the test conditions, were 127 +/- 16, 128 +/- 1, and 145 +/- 14 mmHg for GS, AGSM, and EMS, respectively. During inflation of the GS, execution of the AGSM, and EMS, mean systolic BP during the first 10 s was 143 +/- 15, 146 +/- 13, and 150 +/- 13 mmHg, respectively, with no statistical difference between the conditions. The corresponding mean resting heart rate before each test was 57-63 bpm for all conditions. During the test periods with GS, AGSM, and EMS, heart rate was 59 +/- 11, 79 +/- 16, and 61 +/- 15 b...Continue Reading

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