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Nitrogen Washout and Venous Gas Emboli During Sustained vs. Discontinuous High-Altitude Exposures
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology. Swedish Aerospace Physiology Centre.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology. Swedish Aerospace Physiology Centre.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology. Swedish Aerospace Physiology Centre.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Environmental Physiology. Swedish Aerospace Physiology Centre.
2019 (English)In: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, ISSN 2375-6314, E-ISSN 2375-6322, Vol. 90, no 6, p. 524-530Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: The frequency of long-duration, high-altitude missions with fighter aircraft is increasing, which may increase the incidence of decompression sickness (DCS).The aim of the present study was to compare decompression stress during simulated sustained high-altitude flying vs. high-altitude flying interrupted by periods of moderate or marked cabin pressure increase. METHODS: The level of venous gas emboli (VGE) was assessed from cardiac ultrasound images using the 5-degree Eftedal-Brubakk scale. Nitrogen washout/uptake was measured using a closed circuit rebreather. Eight men were investigated in three conditions: one 80-min continuous exposure to a simulated cabin altitude of A) 24,000 ft, or four 20-min exposures to 24,000 ft interspersed by three 20-min intervals at 8) 20,000 ft or C) 900 ft. RESULTS: A and B induced marked and persistent VGE, With peak bubble scores of [median (range)]: A 2.5 (1-3); B: 3.5 (2-4). Peak VGE score was less in C [1.0(1-2),P < 0.01]. Condition A exhibitedan initially high and exponentially decaying rate of nitrogen washout. In C the washout rate was similar in each period at 24,000 ft, and the nitrogen uptake rate was similar during each 900-ft exposure. B exhibited nitrogen washout during each period at 24,000 ft and the initial period at 20,000 ft, but on average no washout or uptake during the last period at 20,000 ft. DISCUSSION: Intermittent reductions of cabin altitude from 24,000 to 20,000 ft do not appear to alleviate the DCS risk, presumably because the pressure increase is not sufficient to eliminate VGE. The nitrogen washout/uptake rate did not reflect DCS risk in the present exposures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aerospace Medical Association , 2019. Vol. 90, no 6, p. 524-530
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Medical and Health Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-255667DOI: 10.3357/AMHP.5207.2019ISI: 000468206900003PubMedID: 31101137Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85066253774OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-255667DiVA, id: diva2:1340653
Note

QC 20190819

Available from: 2019-08-06 Created: 2019-08-06 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Ånell, RickardGrönkvist, MikaelEiken, Ola

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