Physiological Parameters that Predict Orthostatic Intolerance After Spaceflight (Heart) - 07.29.14
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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.
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, , Netherlands
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
October 2003 - October 2004
Previous ISS Missions
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.
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 .
Karemaker JM, Berecki-Gisolf J. 24-h Blood Pressure in Space: The Dark Side of Being an Astronaut. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 2009; 169 Suppl: S55-S58.
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.
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.
Ground Based Results 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.
ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive