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Lower Body Negative Pressure - Countermeasure Against Postflight Orthostatic Intolerance (178140)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

During space flight, astronauts experience a headward fluid shift due to the absence of gravity. This fluid redistribution is associated with many physiological changes, such as cardiovascular deconditioning and reduced blood volume. These changes have the potential to cause problems when astronauts return to Earth's 1-G environment, such as orthostatic hypotension when standing, which may result in presyncopal or syncopal symptoms.

Previous studies have shown that after 1-2 weeks of bed rest, ingestion of a 1-liter salt water solution during 4 hours of continuous exposure to 30 mmHg lower body negative pressure (LBNP) will protect orthostatic function and blood volume for up to 24 hours. It was hypothesized that a similar countermeasure would reduce the effects of fluid loss induced by headward fluid shift during space flight. The inflight countermeasure, LBNP combined with salt and fluid ingestion, is intended as a single application, end-of-mission treatment to pre-adapt the cardiovascular system to orthostatic stress exposure during and after reentry, landing and cabin egress. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the efficacy of the proposed countermeasure in reversing the effects of microgravity in the cardiovascular system. This investigation also documented additional cardiovascular responses to graded simulated orthostasis in space flight, including leg volume and total peripheral resistance changes.

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Bungo MW, Charles JB, Johnson PC. Cardiovascular deconditioning during space flight and the use of saline as a countermeasure to orthostatic intolerance. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1985:985-990.[]

Charles JB, Bungo MW, Dietlein LF, Fortney SM, Cintron NM. Countermeasure to reduce post-space flight orthostatic intolerance – lower body negative pressure (LBNP) experiment E06. Proposal Submission to Johnson Space Center LS-20086-5. 1990:25p.

Charles JB, Jones MM, Fortney SM. Saline ingestion during lower body negative pressure as an end-of-mission countermeasure to post-space flight orthostatic intolerance. 43rd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation; 1992 Aug 28-Sept 5; Washington, DC. 1992:9p.

Charles JB, Lathers CM. Cardiovascular adaption to space flight. J Clin Pharmocol. 1991; 31:1010-1023.

Charles JB, Lathers, CM. Summary of lower body negative pressure experiments during space flight. J Clin Pharmocol. 1994; 34:571-583.

Cremin, J, editor. The Spacelab-J Mission. AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference; 1990 Sept 25-28; Huntsville, Alabama: NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center. 1990:9-10.

Fortney SM, Charles JB, Wood M, Dussack L. Responses to graded lower body negative pressure after space flight. 43rd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation; 1992 Aug 28-Sept 5; Washington, DC. 1992:11p.

Fortney SM, Steinmann L, Dussack L, Wood M, Cintron N, Whitson P. Investigations of the mechanisms by which lower body negative pressure (LBNP) improves orthostatic intolerance. 43rd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation; 1992 Aug 28-Sept 5; Washington, DC. 1992:11p.

Fortney SM. Development of lower body negative pressure as a countermeasure for orthostatic intolerance. J Clin Pharmocol. 1991; 31:888-892.[].

Lathers CM, Charles JB. Use of lower body negative pressure to counter symptoms of orthostatic intolerance in patients, bed rest subjects, and astronauts. J Clin Pharmacol. 1993; 33:1071-1085.[]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Final science report - Spacelab-J. NASA SP-525, 1995:65.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Results of life sciences DSOs conducted aboard the Shuttle - 1991-1993. JSC: Space and Life Sciences, 1994:93-101.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Spacelab-J experiment descriptions. Marshall Space Flight Center, 1993:213-222.

Cardiovascular deconditioning
Cardiovascular physiology
Orthostatic hypotension
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Blood electrolytes (Na, K, Cl)
Blood flow
Blood hormones (ADH, Aldosterone, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine)
Blood pressure
Calf dimensions
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-47 09/12/1992 09/19/1992 7 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
Alternate Experiment Name
Hardware Items