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January 28, 1998

Pulmonary Function in Space—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(4):275-276. doi:10.1001/jama.279.4.271

In Reply.—Dr Vlassov is correct when he states that a MEDLINE search using headings such as lungs/respiration and space recovers a number of Russian articles. However, almost none of these are relevant to our measurements in Spacelab, which were made under carefully controlled conditions with extensive preflight and postflight controls. These articles contain a few published measurements of respiratory rate, vital capacity, and total ventilation in microgravity, but all data show great variability, probably because the measurement conditions were much more difficult to control than in Spacelab, which was specifically designed for scientific studies. The Russian articles dealing with immersion can be discounted because this is not a useful model of the lung in microgravity; immersion does not reduce the effects of gravity on the lung.

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