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Defining Nitrogen Kinetics for Air Break in PrebreatheActual tissue nitrogen (N2) kinetics are complex; the uptake and elimination is often approximated with a single half-time compartment in statistical descriptions of denitrogenation [prebreathe (PB)] protocols. Air breaks during PB complicate N2 kinetics. A comparison of symmetrical versus asymmetrical N2 kinetics was performed using the time to onset of hypobaric decompression sickness (DCS) as a surrogate for actual venous N2 tension. Published results of 12 tests involving 179 hypobaric exposures in altitude chambers after PB, with and without air breaks, provide the complex protocols from which to model N2 kinetics. DCS survival time for combined control and air breaks were described with an accelerated log logistic model where N2 uptake and elimination before, during, and after the air break was computed with a simple exponential function or a function that changed half-time depending on ambient N2 partial pressure. P1N2-P2 = delta P defined DCS dose for each altitude exposure, where P2 was the test altitude and P1N2 was computed N2 pressure at the beginning of the altitude exposure. The log likelihood (LL) without DCS dose (null model) was -155.6, and improved (best-fit) to -97.2 when dose was defined with a 240 min half-time for both N2 elimination and uptake during the PB. The description of DCS survival time was less precise with asymmetrical N2 kinetics, for example, LL was -98.9 with 240 min half-time elimination and 120 min half-time uptake. The statistical regression described survival time mechanistically linked to symmetrical N2 kinetics during PBs that also included air breaks. The results are data-specific, and additional data may change the conclusion. The regression is useful to compute additional PB time to compensate for an air break in PB within the narrow range of tested conditions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Conkin, Johnny (Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
81st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association(Phoenix, Az)
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