ST-T wave changes in the electrocardiogram detected during routine examination and aggravated by erect posture, hyperventilation, and exercise in apparently healthy young individuals have been termed vasoregulatory abnormalities. No evidence of ischaemic heart disease has been found in such subjects. Ten young healthy air crew with vasoregulatory abnormalities were subjected to maximal exercise on treadmill and procedure repeated after 120 mg propranolol daily for 3 days. After one week, they were subjected to a stress of positive acceleration (+gz) in a human centrifuge at 2-5 g and 3-5 g for 15 seconds each at a constant rate of rise of 0-1 g/s and the electrocardiogram was monitored during and in the post-acceleration phase. The procedure was repeated after propranolol 120 mg daily for 3 days. The stress of positive acceleration resulted in pronounced prominence of P waves and inversion of T waves (as has been reported in normal subjects) with minimal ST depression in the electrocardiogram. ST segment depression during exercise, at heart rates corresponding to those achieved during peak centrifuge runs, was significantly more pronounced. The ST, P, and T wave changes were returned to normal after propranolol. It is concluded that minimal ST segment depression after stress of positive acceleration as compared with conspicuous ST segment depression during exercise at corresponding heart rates, and their normalisation after propranolol, rules out ischaemia as an aetiological factor in subjects with vasoregulatory abnormalities.
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