Study of the Impact of Spaceflight Factors on the Vegetative Regulation of Blood Circulation, Respiration, and Contractile Function of the Heart in Long-Term Spaceflight (Pnevmocard) (Pnevmocard (Pneumocard)) - 05.09.18

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Studying and monitoring the cardiorespiratory system of crew members in microgravity is dependent not only on the central role of this system in the adaptation responses of the entire body, but also on the specific living and working conditions. Loads on the cardiorespiratory system during physical loading (physical exercise, assembly work in outer space) can be extremely high, and optimizing them may become the priority for the medical support system. The goal of the Pnevmocard investigation is to obtain new scientific information to deepen the understanding of the mechanisms of cardiorespiratory system adaptation to long-term spaceflight conditions.
Science Results for Everyone
Coming back to Earth can be hard on your heart. This integrated study provided the first comprehensive data on function and adaptation of the cardiovascular system at various stages of long-duration microgravity exposure. The results show that crewmembers tolerated flight well and that cardiovascular control remains stable during long flights. The most pronounced changes occurred after landing, although most values returned to preflight levels within five to seven days. This suggests functional adaptation rather than physical changes during flight. It also confirms that heart rate variability can be an important tool in monitoring individual adaptation to microgravity. 

The following content was provided by Roman M. Baevsky, M.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Roman M. Baevsky, M.D., Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Moscow, Russia

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Sponsoring Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - March 2013

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Space Applications
The task of the medical monitoring system is not only to identify the occurrence of irregularities in a timely manner, but also to predict them if possible. For space medicine and the practice of crew member medical monitoring, it is desirable to establish patterns of cardiorespiratory interaction in various functional states of the body, since it is known that disruptions in the regulation of physiological functions usually precede the development of dangerous health conditions. Further study of the cardiorespiratory system on the International Space Station (ISS) using the more modern Pnevmocard equipment makes it possible to obtain new scientific data on the processes of the body’s adaptation to long-term spaceflight and develop assessment criteria to predict possible anomalies in the regulatory mechanism. It is presumed that the Pnevmocard experiment will be a model for developing and improving the medical monitoring system for crew members. This involves introducing a prognostic approach to evaluating the functional state of crew members; the research goal is to identify prenosological and premorbid conditions (ie, conditions preceding disease) rather than pathological deviations. These data have practical importance for medical monitoring applications, and in the future it would make sense to apply them in the ongoing work of the medical team at mission control.

Earth Applications
The results obtained can be applied to various medical fields, such as clinical and preventative medicine, environmental medicine, and medicine of extreme conditions. The method enables ECG heart rhythm, rate of capillary blood flow in the finger, and air flow rate during breathing to be recorded. This method enables pre-morbid conditions to be diagnosed that precede the development of cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

To date, the main focus of researchers has been on investigating peripheral blood flow as the leading activation mechanism for the body’s reaction to orthostatic loading, and virtually no attention has been paid in studies of heart function in microgravity. The investigations carried out on the ISS using the Pnevmocard system were fundamentally a first in space medicine in which comprehensive material was obtained on hemodynamics, heart contractile function, and its regulation. The results of the Pnevmocard experiment showed that crew members tolerated flight well, fairly fully adapted to long-term microgravity, and their reactions to various flight stages is entirely adequate. This points to the high functional reserves of regulation systems during flight. In the postflight period according to data from orthostatic testing, the body’s functional reserves were also maintained at a sufficiently high level.

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Results Publications

    Eshmanova AK, Luchitskaya ES.  Study of cardiac rhythm variability during 7-day exposure to “dry” immersion. 5th All-Russian Conference on Analyzing Heart Rate Variability, Izhevsk, Russia ; 2011 October 26-28

    Baevsky RM, Baranov VM, Bogomolov VV.  Experiments "Pulse" and "Pneumocard" aboard the International Space Station. The prospects for development of an automated medical monitoring system. 54th International Astronautical Congress, Bremen, Germany; 2003 September 29 - October 3

    Baevsky RM, Luchitskaya ES, Funtova II, Chernikova AG.  Study of the autonomic regulation of blood circulation during a long-term space flight. Human Physiology. 2013 October 11; 39(5): 486-495. DOI: 10.1134/S0362119713050046.

    Baevsky RM, Funtova II, Diedrich A, Pashchenko AV, Chernikova AG, Drescher J, Baranov VM, Tank J.  Autonomic Function Testing on Board the ISS - update on "Pneumocard". Acta Astronautica. 2007 October; 61(7-8): 672-675. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2006.11.017. [Also: Baevsky R.M, Funtova I.I., Diedrich A., Chernikova A.G., Tank J. Autonomic function testing aboard the ISS using "PNEUMOCARD". 58-th Congress IAA, Hyderabad, India, September, 2007. Also: R.M. Baevsky, I.I. Funtova, A. Diedrich, A.V. Pashenko, A.G. Chernikova, J. Drescher, V.M. Baranov, J. Tank, Autonomic Function Testing on board the ISS—Update on “Pneumocard”, 56 IAF, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005.]

    Baevsky RM, Funtova II, Luchitskaya ES, Chernikova AG.  The effects of long-term microgravity on autonomic regulation of blood circulation in crewmembers of the international space station. Cardiometry. 2014 November 14(5): 35-49. DOI: 10.12710/cardiometry.2014.5.3549.

    Baevsky RM, Okhritsky AA, Pashchenko AV, Prilutsky DA, Funtova II.  Medical polygraph software for scientific research. Meditsinskaia Tekhnika (Biomedical Engineering). 2007; 1: 19-24.

    Baevsky RM, Chernikova AG, Funtova II, Tank J.  Assessment of individual adaptation to microgravity during long term space flight based on stepwise discriminant analysis of heart rate variability parameters. Acta Astronautica. 2011 December; 69(11-12): 1148-1152. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.07.011. [Also: Funtova I.I.; Chernikova А.G.; Baevsky R.M. Assessment of Individual Adaptation to Microgravity during long term space flight based  on stepwise Discriminant Analysis of Heart Rate Variability Parameters. 17th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Moscow, Russia 2009.]

    Baevsky RM, Funtova II, Tank J.  Research experiment "Pneumocard" onboard the International space station. 14th Congress of the International Society for Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology, Moscow, Russia  ; 2011 April

    Luchitskaya ES, Chernikova AG, Funtova II, Baevsky RM.  Analysis of cardiac rhythm variability in space medicine. Results of studies on the International Space Station. 4th Russian National Congress on Clinical Electrocardiology, Velikiy Novgorod, Russia; 2010 April 28-29 62-63.

    Funtova II, Baevsky RM, Luchitskaya ES, Slepchenkova IN, Drescher J, Tank J.  Day- vs. night time heart rate variability changes in microgravity: experiments "Pneumocard" and "Sonocard". 62nd International Astronautical Congress, Cape Town, South Africa; 2011

    Baranov VM, Baevsky RM, Drescher J, Tank J.  Investigations of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems on board the international space station: experiments PULS and PNEUMOCARD. 53rd International Astronautical Congress, The World Space Congress, Houston, TX; 2002 October 10-19

    Baevsky RM, Baranov VM, Funtova II, Diedrich A, Pashenko AV, Chernikova AG, Drescher J, Jordan J, Tank J.  Autonomic cardiovascular and respiratory control during prolonged spaceflights aboard the International Space Station. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2007 July; 103(1): 156-161. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00137.2007. PMID: 17446414.

    Funtova II, Chernikova AG, Fedorova IN, Baranov VM, Tank J, Baevsky RM.  Some results of scientific experiment “Pneumocard” aboard the International space station. 17th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Moscow, Russia; 2009

    Chernikova AG, Baevsky RM, Funtova II.  The probability approach to an estimation of risk of a pathology at cosmonauts according to analysis HRV. 14th Congress of the International Society for Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology, Moscow, Russia  ; 2011 April

    Funtova II, Luchitskaya ES, Slepchenkova IN, Tank J, Baevsky RM.  Comparative assessment of the results of day and night studies of cardiac rhythm variability on board the International Space Station. 5th All-Russian Conference on Analyzing Heart Rate Variability, Izhevsk, Russia ; 2011 October 26-28

    Baevsky RM, Bersenev YY, Luchitskaya ES, Funtova II, Chernikova AG.  Studies of the vegetative regulation of the cardiovascular system in long-term weightlessness. Space Forum 2011 Dedicated on 50th Anniversary for Yu. A. Gagarin Flight, Moscow, Russia; 2011 October

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

    Baranov VM, Baevsky RM, Pashchenko AV, Shmelev SI.  Mobile device for comprehensively examining the cardio-respiratory system of cosmonauts. Federal Service for Intellectual Property.58886. December 10 2006.

    Baevsky RM, Baranov VM, Bersenev YY, Funtova II, Semyonov YN, Grigoriev AI, Prilutsky DA.  Method of determining functional reserves for regulating the human cardio-respiratory system. Federal Service for Intellectual Property.2240035. November 20 2004.

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Related Publications

    Slepchenkova IN, Luchitskaya ES.  Use of the Sonocard and Pneumocard onboard complexes in a 105-Day experiment for the MARS-500 Project. 4th European Congress Medicine in Space and in Extreme Environments Achievements for Health Care on Earth, Berlin, Germany; 2010

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Related Websites
Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment

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