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Pulmonary function in microgravity: KC-135 experienceWe have commenced a KC-135 program that parallels and proceeds our Spacelab (SLS-1) pulmonary function experiment. Our first task was to elucidate the affect of normal gravitation on the shape of the maximum expiratory flow volume (MEFV) curve. Nine normal subjects performed multiple MEFV maneuvers at 0-G, 1-G, and approximately 1.7-G. The MEFV curves for each subject were filtered, aligned at RV, and ensemble-averaged to produce an average MEFV curve for each state, allowing differences to be studied. Most subjects showed a decrease in the FVC at 0-G, which we attribute to an increased intrathoracic blood volume. In most of these subjects, the mean lung volume associated with a given flow was lower at 0-G, over about the upper half of the vital capacity. This is similar to the change previously reported during heat out immersion and is consistent with the known affect of engorgement of the lung with blood, on elastic recoil. There were also consistent but highly individual changes in the position and magnitude of detailed features of the curve, the individual patterns being similar to those previously reported on transition from the erect to the supine position. This supports the idea that the location and motion of choke points which determine the detailed individual configuration of MEFV curves, can be significantly influenced by gravitational forces, presumably via the effects of change in longitudinal tension on local airway pressure-diameter behavior and wave speed. We have developed a flight mass spectrometer and have commenced a study of single breath gradients in gas exchange, inert gas washouts, and rebreathing cardiac outputs and lung volumes at 0-G, 1-G, and 1.7-G. Comparison of our results with those from SLS-1 should identify the opportunities and limitations of the KC-135 as an accessible microgravity resource.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Guy, Harold J. (California Univ. San Diego, CA, United States)
Prisk, G. K. (California Univ. San Diego, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Krug Life Sciences, Inc., Proceedings of the First Joint NASA Cardiopulmonary Workshop
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19940007519Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the First Joint NASA Cardiopulmonary Workshop