Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) - 08.20.14
ISS Science for Everyone
Science Objectives for Everyone
Vascular Echography (Vessel Imaging) evaluates the changes in central and peripheral blood vessel wall properties (thickness and compliance) and cross sectional areas of long-duration ISS crewmembers during and after long-term exposure to microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2010 - September 2013
Previous ISS Missions
- A Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) program will be run in parallel to Vessel Imaging.
- Flow velocity changes in the aorta and the middle cerebral and femoral arteries will be used to quantify the cardiovascular response to fluid shift.
- Vessel Imaging aims to optimize the countermeasures used routinely during long-duration space missions.
By improving the understanding of the mechanisms behind changes to the cardiovascular system in space we in turn can develop more effective countermeasures, whether pharmacological, dietary or exercise-based in order to alleviate such adverse effects and hence improve/maintain the health and performance of astronauts working and living in orbit.
In response to gravitational stress and exercise, human blood vessel diameters change. After spaceflight it seems that vessels that normally should contract to maintain blood pressure do not perform as well as they did before the (long duration) space flight. This research holds significance to similar conditions on earth as they are the same processes that occur in elderly patients. As such findings from this experiment will help in improving and maintaining the health and well-being of an elderly population and provide insight into other cardiovascular conditions on earth that encompass a similar impaired cardiovascular function.