Skylab experiment M-092: results of the first manned mission.Acta Astronaut 1975 Mar-Apr; 2(3-4):265-96AA
Blood pressure at 30-sec intervals, heart rate, and percentage increase in leg volume continuously were recorded during a 25-min protocol in the M092 Inflight Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) experiment carried out in the first manned Skylab mission. These data were collected during six tests on each crewman over a 5-month preflight period. The protocol consisted of a 5-min resting control period, 1 min at -8, 1 min at -16, 3 min at -30, 5 min at -40, and 5 min at -50 mm Hg LBNP. A 5-min recovery period followed. Inflight tests were performed at approximately 3-day intervals through the 28-day mission. Individual variations in cardiovascular responses to LBNP during the preflight period continued to be demonstrated in the inflight tests. Measurements of the calf indicated that a large volume of fluid was shifted out of the legs early in the flight and that a slower decrease in leg volume, presumably due to loss of muscle tissue, continued throughout the flight. Resting heart rates tended to be low early in the flight and to increase slightly as the flight progressed. Resting blood pressure varied but usually was characterized by slightly elevated systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic pressure, and higher pulse pressures than during preflight examinations. During LBNP inflight a much greater increase in leg volume occurred than in preflight tests. Large increases occurred even at the smallest levels of negative pressure, suggesting that the veins of the legs were relatively empty at the beginning of the LBNP. The greater volume of blood pooled in the legs was associated with greater increases of heart rate and diastolic pressure and larger falls of systolic and pulse pressure than seen in preflight tests. The LBNP protocol represented a greater stress inflight, and on three occasions it was necessary to stop the test early because of impending syncopal reactions. LBNP responses inflight appeared to predict the degree of postflight orthostatic intolerance. Postflight responses to LBNP during the first 48 hours were characterized by marked elevations of heart rate and instability of blood pressure. In addition, systolic and diastolic pressures were typically elevated considerably both at rest and also during stress. The time required for cardiovascular responses to return to preflight levels was much slower than in the case of Apollo crewmen.