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Evaluation of Compression Garments as Countermeasures to Orthostatic Intolerance (Compression_Garments)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Previous work in the investigators’ laboratory demonstrated that the NASA Anti-Gravity Suit (AGS) and the Russian Kentavr compression garment were effective countermeasures to orthostatic intolerance in subjects whose plasma volume was reduced pharmacologically to a similar degree as experienced by astronauts. While these compression garments were effective in these conditions, two observations led to the evaluation of other compression garments/conditions. First, although the AGS and Kentavr appeared to be equally effective in the initial study, the level of compression provided by the two garments were very different. The Kentavr provided compression of ~30 mmHg but the AGS was inflated to a pressure of ~78 mmHg. Thus, one objective of this study was to determine whether the AGS could provide a similar level of protection as the Kentavr when the AGS was inflated to provide a similar level of compression (~26 mmHg). Second, astronauts have reported uncomfortable levels of abdominal compression while using the AGS, which may be particularly problematic after completing the pre-landing fluid loading protocol. Therefore, the second objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of a thigh-high compression garment, which might be more effective than either the AGS or the Kentavr because it provided a gradient compression to promote venous return. Both the AGS and Kentavr apply approximately the same level of compression across the entire length of the garment, but a commercially-available garment provides the highest pressure at the ankle, and the pressure decreases up the leg to the top of the thigh.

The specific aims of this study were:

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of thigh-high compression garments to prevent orthostatic intolerance in hypovolemic subjects.
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the AGS at 1 “click” (0.5 psi) to prevent orthostatic intolerance in hypovolemic subjects.
  3. Compare the effectiveness of the two garments which provide similar average levels of compression across their respective lengths but provide different levels of coverage (thigh-high versus abdomen-high).

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Orthostatic intolerance

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Orthostatic intolerance

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Directed Research