Ocular examination for trauma; clinical ultrasound aboard the International Space Station
Chiao, L., et al. (2005). "Ocular examination for trauma; clinical ultrasound aboard the International Space Station." J Trauma 58 5: 885-9
BACKGROUND: Ultrasound imaging is a successful modality in a broad variety of diagnostic applications including trauma. Ultrasound has been shown to be accurate when performed by non-radiologist physicians; recent reports have suggested that non-physicians can perform limited ultrasound examinations. A multipurpose ultrasound system is installed on the International Space Station (ISS) as a component of the Human Research Facility (HRF). This report documents the first ocular ultrasound examination conducted in space, which demonstrated the capability to assess physiologic alterations or pathology including trauma during long-duration space flight. METHODS: An ISS crewmember with minimal sonography training was remotely guided by an imaging expert from Mission Control Center (MCC) through a comprehensive ultrasound examination of the eye. A multipurpose ultrasound imager was used in conjunction with a space-to-ground video downlink and two-way audio. Reference cards with topological reference points, hardware controls, and target images were used to facilitate the examination. Multiple views of the eye structures were obtained through a closed eyelid. Pupillary response to light was demonstrated by modifying the light exposure of the contralateral eye. RESULTS: A crewmember on the ISS was able to complete a comprehensive ocular examination using B- and M-mode ultrasonography with remote guidance from an expert in the MCC. Multiple anteroposterior, oblique, and coronal views of the eye clearly demonstrated the anatomic structures of both segments of the globe. The iris and pupil were readily visualized with probe manipulation. Pupillary diameter was assessed in real time in B- and M-mode displays. The anatomic detail and fidelity of ultrasound video were excellent and could be used to answer a variety of clinical and space physiologic questions. CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive, high-quality ultrasound examination of the eye was performed with a multipurpose imager aboard the ISS by a non-expert operator using remote guidance. Ocular ultrasound images were of diagnostic quality despite the 2-second communication latency and the unconventional setting of a weightless spacecraft environment. The remote guidance techniques developed to facilitate this successful NASA research experiment will support wider applications of ultrasound for remote medicine on Earth including the assessment of pupillary reactions in patients with severe craniofacial trauma and swelling.
ISSN: 0022-5282 (Print) 0022-5282 (Linking)
Accession Number: 15920397