Physiological Parameters that Predict Orthostatic Intolerance After Spaceflight (Heart) - 08.05.15

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Information Pending
Science Results for Everyone
In the 18th century, wearing corsets often caused fainting spells. Today, researchers are trying to determine the physiological processes at work when someone gets dizzy from standing up to help diagnose unexplained fainting. Observations from this study include reduced pulse pressures and increased heart rate while standing up one and two days in after returning from space. Blood pressure levels didn’t change much, but blood pressure and heart rate surges during working days in space were striking. These findings for short-duration spaceflight do not agree with ground bed rest studies for blood pressure levels, as well as daytime to nighttime changes, suggesting that short flights may induce quite strong psychological stress.

The following content was provided by John M. Karemaker, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
John M. Karemaker, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Information Pending

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
October 2003 - October 2004

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview
Information Pending

The main scientific objectives of the experiment are to define physiological parameters that may serve to pinpoint those subjects that have poor orthostatic tolerance under unfavourable conditions. This may, eventually, help in diagnosis of unexplained faints in patients.

^ back to top


Space Applications
Information Pending

Earth Applications
Information Pending

^ back to top


Operational Requirements
Information Pending

Operational Protocols
This experiment will provide further data already obtained from similar research performed on the Belgian Soyuz Mission Odissea of ESA astronaut Frank De Winne in 2002, and the Spanish Soyuz Mission Cervantes of ESA astronaut Pedro Duque in 2003. The objective is to predict orthostatic intolerance, i.e. the inability to stand upright, of astronauts who have spent a long period in a weightless environment. The predictions will be based on the measurements of physical parameters such as blood pressure, electrocardiograms, thoracic impedance and brain blood flow by ultrasound. This data will serve as input for the characteristics of a particular subject into a computer model of the circulation The astronauts are tested pre-flight and post-flight in a ground-based lab using a computerized tilting table that can induce a variety of dynamic tilt manoeuvres These parameters will act as predictors for the outcome of the test, where astronauts are asked to stand relaxed, leaning against a wall for a maximum of 10 minutes. Orthostatic intolerance is defined as the inability to stand for 10 minutes .

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results Publications

    Karemaker JM, Berecki-Gisolf J, Stok WJ, van Montfrans GA.  24-hr blood pressure in HDT-bed rest and short-lasting space flight. Journal of Gravitational Physiology. 2007 July; 14(1): p49-50. PMID: 18372694.

    Karemaker JM, Berecki-Gisolf J.  24-h Blood Pressure in Space: The Dark Side of Being an Astronaut. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 2009 October; 169 Suppl: S55-S58. DOI: 10.1016/j.resp.2009.05.006. PMID: 19481180.

    Berecki-Gisolf J, Immink RV, Van Lieshout JJ, Stok WJ, Karemaker JM.  Orthostatic blood pressure control before and after spaceflight, determined by time-domain baroreflex method. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2005 May; 98(5): 1682-1690. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01219.2004. PMID: 15649869.

^ back to top

Ground Based Results Publications

^ back to top

ISS Patents

^ back to top

Related Publications

    van Heusden K, Berecki-Gisolf J, Stok WJ, Dijkstra S, Karemaker JM.  Mathematical modeling of gravitational effects on the circulation: importance of the time course of venous pooling and blood volume changes in the lungs. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2006 July 7; 291(5): H2152-H2165. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.01268.2004. PMID: 16632542.

^ back to top

Related Websites
ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive

^ back to top