Flow Redistribution Between Legs and Brain During STS 93 R-entry and Landing (Case Report)

P. Arbeille(France), J. Meck (USA), M. Porcher (France), E. Benavides, D.S. Martin, D.A. South, C. R


Cerebral flow, femoral flow, re-entry, Doppler.


: The objective was to quantify bit by bit the arterial hemodynamic response to the successive acceleration induced fluid shifts during re-entry and landing. Method: The astronaut instrumented himself with a flat Doppler probe fixed on the skin, a blood pressure arm cuff, and 3 ECG electrodes. The ICMS (integrated cardiovascular monitoring system, 15x15x25 cm3, battery powered) designed to monitor Blood pressure, ECG, cerebral and femoral flows was fixed below the astronaut sit in the middeck. Recordings started 5 minutes before de orbiting (TIG) and stopped 5 min after wheels stop. Results. During re-entry blood pressure increased by 20% at TIG, and then by 25 to 30% during the highest Gz accelerations (approx 1.5g). The cerebral flow remained decreased by 10 to 15% below inflight value all during the Entry and landing phases. Conversely the femoral flow increased at TIG and entry (+10 to 20%), recovered at 0.1g, and then decreased in proportion with the Gz acceleration (-10% to 40% from 0.5g to 1.5g). The reduction in Femoral flow was associated with an opposite variation in lower limb vascular resistance. Consequently the cerebral flow/femoral flow ratio decreased at TIG and entry (-20%), and then increased according to the Gz acceleration level (+10 to +40% from 0.5 to 1.5g). Conclusion: During orthostatic tests (Stand LBNP tests) the cerebral to femoral flow ratio allowed to quantify the efficiency of the flow redistribution between these 2 areas and predicted orthostatic intolerance. In the present case the astronaut was found orthostatically tolerant at postflight tilt tests, but we suggest that during re entry this parameter could predict the occurrence of syncope in severely disadapted astronauts.

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