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Effect of acceleration on distribution of lung perfusion and on respiratory gas exchange


Application of new technical and methodological development as respiratory mass spectrometry and double nuclide perfusion scintigraphy results in more detailed knowledge of the effect of accelerational forces on lung perfusion and respiratory gas exchange.

For evaluation of some details of lung perfusion and respiratory gas exchange 20 healthy male subjects were exposed to prolonged hypergravitational stress (2 min,+G z,+G x or−G y). Distribution of lung perfusion was measured by means of double nuclide perfusion scintigraphy using99mTechnetium- and131Iodinemicrospheres allowing the registration of 2 phases of pulmonary perfusion in the same subject.PAO2 andPACO2 were measured by continuous mass spectrometrical registration andPaO2,PaCO2 and pHa were determined from arterial blood samples polarographically and electrometrically, respectively. Measurements were performed in the pre-run, in the run and partly in the post-run period, too.

Depending on the magnitude and direction of the gravitational vector blood volume shifts within the lungs. Using computer evaluation of the scintiscans, it is possible to determine the magnitude of the normal-, hypo- and hyperperfused lung regions: for the extreme case of −4G y only 3% of the 47% left lung perfusion at rest persists.

During+G z-acceleration thePaO2 decreases linearily for approximately 10 Torr/+1G z,PAO2 increases by about 5 to 7 Torr/+1G z andAaDO2 increases correspondingly from 10.4 Torr at rest to 60.1 Torr at+3G z. ForPaCO2 no significant change could be observed during acceleration up to+3G z, whereasPACO2 decreased significantly from 36.5 to 25.0 Torr in the same time;aADCO2 increased correspondingly. No significant pHa change was observed during all +G z runs up to+3G z.

Prolonged expiration during+G z-acceleration reveals an amplification of the amplitude of the cardiogenic oscillations in the alveolar plateau of expiratoryPO2 andPCO2-curves. Furthermore the alveolar plateau slopes down depending on the gravitational stress and indicating large disturbances of the ventilation/perfusion ratio.

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von Nieding, G., Krekeler, H., Koppenhagen, K. et al. Effect of acceleration on distribution of lung perfusion and on respiratory gas exchange. Pflugers Arch. 342, 159–176 (1973).

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Key words

  • Hypergravitational Stress
  • Lung Perfusion
  • Gas Exchange
  • Double Nuclide Perfusion Scintigraphy
  • Respiratory Gas Exchange