NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Percutaneous aspiration of fluid for management of peritonitis in spaceBACKGROUND: As a medical emergency that can affect even well-screened, healthy individuals, peritonitis developing during a long-duration space exploration mission may dictate deviation from traditional clinical practice due to the absence of otherwise indicated surgical capabilities. Medical management can treat many intra-abdominal processes, but treatment failures are inevitable. In these circumstances, percutaneous aspiration under sonographic guidance could provide a "rescue" strategy. Hypothesis: Sonographically guided percutaneous aspiration of intra-peritoneal fluid can be performed in microgravity. METHODS: Investigations were conducted in the microgravity environment of NASA's KC-135 research aircraft (0 G). The subjects were anesthetized female Yorkshire pigs weighing 50 kg. The procedures were rehearsed in a terrestrial animal lab (1 G). Colored saline (500 mL) was introduced through an intra-peritoneal catheter during flight. A high-definition ultrasound system (HDI-5000, ATL, Bothell, WA) was used to guide a 16-gauge needle into the peritoneal cavity to aspirate fluid. RESULTS: Intra-peritoneal fluid collections were easily identified, distinct from surrounding viscera, and on occasion became more obvious during weightless conditions. Subjectively, with adequate restraint of the subject and operators, the procedure was no more demanding than during the 1-G rehearsals. CONCLUSIONS: Sonographically guided percutaneous aspiration of intra-peritoneal fluid collections is feasible in weightlessness. Treatment of intra-abdominal inflammatory conditions in spaceflight might rely on pharmacological options, backed by sonographically guided percutaneous aspiration for the "rescue" of treatment failures. While this risk mitigation strategy cannot guarantee success, it may be the most practical option given severe resource limitations.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Kirkpatrick, A. W.
(Vancouver General Hospital British Columbia, Canada)
Nicolaou, S.
Campbell, M. R.
Sargsyan, A. E.
Dulchavsky, S. A.
Melton, S.
Beck, G.
Dawson, D. L.
Billica, R. D.
Johnston, S. L.
Hamilton, D. R.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Aviation, space, and environmental medicine
Volume: 73
Issue: 9
ISSN: 0095-6562
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
short duration
Flight Experiment
Parabolic Flight
NASA Discipline Life Sciences Technologies

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available