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Cerebral blood flow velocities by transcranial Doppler during parabolic flight.

Microgravity is produced for 20 to 30 seconds in NASA's KC-135 aircraft at the end of a 2 G pullup for each of 40 parabolas per flight. Continuous transcranial Doppler ultrasound, arterial blood pressure, and acceleration levels were recorded for 12 male and 8 female healthy subjects without known cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. Recordings were made throughout 10 parabolas per subject in each of the supine, sitting, and standing postures. The data were digitized for off-line analysis using Fast Fourier Transform and other signal processing methods. A phase lag in changes to transcranial Doppler waveforms from the onset of acceleration was more pronounced in the standing position than in the sitting position. There was less of a phase lag in the supine position. These ultrasound changes preceded the more delayed variations in arterial blood pressure. The KC-135 provides a unique short-term environment that allows measurement of the human response to variations in acceleration but limits physiological monitoring of responses to a steady state of microgravity.[1]


  1. Cerebral blood flow velocities by transcranial Doppler during parabolic flight. Bondar, R.L., Stein, F., Kassam, M.S., Dunphy, P.T., Bennett, B.S., Johnston, K.W. Journal of clinical pharmacology. (1991) [Pubmed]
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