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Validation of Cardiovascular Parameters during NASA's Functional Task TestMicrogravity exposure causes physiological deconditioning and impairs crewmember task performance. The Functional Task Test (FTT) is designed to correlate these physiological changes to performance in a series of operationally-relevant tasks. One of these, the Recovery from Fall/Stand Test (RFST), tests both the ability to recover from a prone position and cardiovascular responses to orthostasis. PURPOSE: Three minutes were chosen for the duration of this test, yet it is unknown if this is long enough to induce cardiovascular responses similar to the operational 5 min stand test. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of heart rate variability (HRV) analysis of a 3 min stand and to examine the effect of spaceflight on these measures. METHODS: To determine the validity of using 3 vs. 5 min of standing to assess HRV, ECG was collected from 7 healthy subjects who participated in a 6 min RFST. Mean R-R interval (RR) and spectral HRV were measured in minutes 0-3 and 0-5 following the heart rate transient due to standing. Significant differences between the segments were determined by a paired t-test. To determine the reliability of the 3-min stand test, 13 healthy subjects completed 3 trials of the FTT on separate days, including the RFST with a 3 min stand. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the HRV measures. One crewmember completed the FTT before a 14-day mission, on landing day (R+0) and one (R+1) day after returning to Earth. RESULTS VALIDITY: HRV measures reflecting autonomic activity were not significantly different during the 0-3 and 0-5 min segments. RELIABILITY: The average coefficient of variation for RR, systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures during the RFST were less than 8% for the 3 sessions. ANOVA results yielded a greater inter-subject variability (p<0.006) than inter-session variability (p>0.05) for HRV in the RFST. SPACEFLIGHT: Lower RR and higher SBP were observed on R+0 in rest and stand. On R+1, both RR and SBP trended towards preflight rest and stand values. Postflight HRV showed higher LF/HF for rest and stand and lower HFnu during rest. CONCLUSION: These studies show that a 3 min stand delivers repeatable HRV data in the context of this larger series of FTT tests. Spaceflight-induced changes in blood pressure, RR and autonomic function (HRV) are evident from the RFST.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Arzeno, N. M.
(Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Stenger, M. B.
(Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Bloomberg, J. J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Platts, S. H.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
American College of Sports Medicine Annual meeting(Baltimore, MD)
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