Lung function is unchanged in the 1 G environment following 6-months exposure to microgravity
Prisk, G. K., et al. (2008). "Lung function is unchanged in the 1 G environment following 6-months exposure to microgravity." Eur J Appl Physiol 103 6: 617-23
Many organ systems adapt in response to the removal of gravity, such as that occurring during spaceflight. Such adaptation occurs over varying time periods depending on the organ system being considered, but the effect is that upon a return to the normal 1 G environment, the organ system is ill-adapted to that environment. As a consequence, either countermeasures to the adaptive process in flight, or rehabilitation upon return to 1 G is required. To determine whether the lung changed in response to a long period without gravity, we studied numerous aspects of lung function on ten subjects (one female) before and after they were exposed to 4-6 months of microgravity (microG, weightlessness) in the normobaric normoxic environment of the International Space Station. With the exception of small (and likely physiologically inconsequential) changes in expiratory reserve volume, one index of peripheral gas mixing in the periphery of the lung, and a possible slight reduction in D(L)CO in the early postflight period despite an unchanged cardiac output, lung function was unaltered by 4-6 months in microG. These results suggest that unlike many other organ systems in the human body, lung function returns to normal after long term exposure to the removal of gravity. We conclude that that in a normoxic, normobaric environment, lung function is not a concern following long-duration future spaceflight exploration missions of up to 6 months.
ISSN: 1439-6319 (Print) 1439-6319 (Linking)
Accession Number: 18481079