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Validation of On-Orbit Methodology for the Assessment of Cardiac Function and Changes in the Circulating Volume Using Ultrasound and Braslet-M Occlusion Cuffs (SDTO_17011_UR)
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The Braslet experiment was a collaborative effort between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA) for which each organization acted as a portion of the co-investigator team. The objective of this study was the development and validation of an in-flight methodology to assess a number of cardiac and vascular parameters associated with circulating volume and its manipulation in long-duration space flight. Responses to modified Valsalva and Mueller maneuvers were measured by cardiac and vascular ultrasound (US provided) before, during, and after temporary volume reduction by means of Braslet-M thigh occlusion cuffs (Russia provided).

This study had the following specific aims:

  1. Establish and validate non-invasive ultrasound measurement techniques for comprehensive cardiac and vascular evaluation
  2. Develop and validate methodology to assess the circulating volume changes and cardiac function in space flight conditions, through short-term hemodynamic modification using Braslet-M occlusion cuffs.
  3. Determine the utility of Valsalva and Mueller respiratory maneuvers as means of auxiliary physiological modification to obtain additional functional information of clinical and scientific significance.

The Braslet SDTO used multiple modes of ultrasound imaging and measurements, in combination with short-term application of Braslet-M occlusive cuffs and cardiopulmonary maneuvers using both Valsalva and Mueller techniques to demonstrate and to evaluate the degree of changes in the circulating volume on orbit. This was accomplished by performing echocardiographic examinations in multiple modes, including tissue Doppler mode and ultrasound measurements of jugular and lower extremity venous vasculature. Responses to Braslet-M device under nominal conditions and also during cardiopulmonary Mueller and Valsalva maneuvers were recorded and analyzed. Identical measurements were repeated without and with Braslet-M applied and a subset of data were collected during release of the occlusion device.

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Fomina G, Kotovskaya A, Arbeille F, Pochuev V, Zhernavkov A, Ivanovskaya T. Changes in hemodynamic and post-flights orthostatic tolerance of cosmonauts under application of the preventive device--thigh cuffs bracelets in short-term flights. J Gravit Physiol. 2004 Jul;11(2):P229-30. []

Fomina GA, Kotovskaia AR, Vil'-Vil'iams IF, Pochuev VI, Zhernavkov AF. Effects of occlusive cuffs "Braslet" on crew hemodynamics in short space flights and orthostatic stability post flight. Aviakosm Ekolog Med. 2004 Nov-Dec;38(6):36-40. []

Fomina GA, Kotovskaia AR, Zhernavkov AF, Pochuev VI. Relationship between the hemodynamic disorders in cosmonauts on short-term space flights and orthostatic stability. Aviakosm Ekolog Med. 2005 May-Jun;39(3):14-20. []

Hamilton DR, Alferova IV, Sargsyan AE, Finke EM, Magnus SH, Lonchakov YV, Dulchavsky SA, Ebert DJ, Garcia K, Martin D, Matveev VP, Voronkov YI, Melton SL, Duncan JM. Right ventricular tissue Doppler assessment in space during circulating volume modification using the Braslet device. Acta Astronautica.2011 (68); 1501-1508.

Hamilton DR, Sargsyan AE, Garcia K, Ebert DJ, Whitson PA, Feiveson AH, Alferova IV, Dulchavsky SA, Matveev VP, Bogomolov VV, Duncan JM. Cardiac and vascular responses to thigh cuffs and respiratory maneuvers on crewmembers of the International Space Station. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Feb;112(3):454-62. Epub 2011 Sep 8. []

Herault S, Fomina G, Alferova I, Kotovskaya A, Poliakov V, Arbeille P. Cardiac, arterial and venous adaptation to weightlessness during 6-month MIR spaceflights with and without thigh cuffs (bracelets). Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000 Mar; 81(5):384-90. []

Cardiac volume
Cardiovascular physiology
Heart atrium
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Photo Gallery
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
Data Sets+ Request data

Baseline Braslet On Femoral Vein
Baseline Braslet On Internal Jugular Vein
Baseline Braslet On Spectral Doppler
Baseline Braslet On Tissue Doppler
Baseline Braslet On Two Dimensional Cardiac
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 16 10/10/2007 04/19/2008 192 days
Expedition 18 10/12/2008 04/17/2009 187 days
Expedition 19 03/26/2009 10/11/2009 199 days
STS-119 02/22/2009 03/07/2009 14 days
STS-120 10/23/2007 11/07/2007 15 days
STS-126 11/14/2008 11/30/2008 16 days
STS-132 05/14/2010 05/26/2010 12 days

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.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Terry Hill
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
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