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Invited Commentary
December 26, 2019

Possible Factors Associated With Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(2):172-173. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.5365

Spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS) refers to a set of ophthalmic anomalies in astronauts, including optic disc edema, globe flattening with a shift in refractive error (hyperopia), choroidal folds, and nerve fiber layer infarcts.1,2 In this issue of JAMA Ophthalmology, Laurie and colleagues1 assessed the outcomes of a head-down tilt and mild hypercapnia to test whether they could replicate the optic disc edema and choroidal engorgement of SANS. Their results demonstrated that a strict 30-day head-down tilt in a mildly hypercapnic environment caused an increase in peripapillary total retinal thickness. However, the mechanisms of optic disc edema may have different contributing factors between the simulated conditions on the ground and actual microgravity in space.

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