We studied the effects of head-to-foot acceleration (+Gz) on chest wall mechanics in five normal subjects seated in a human centrifuge. Results were compared with those previously obtained in the same subjects in microgravity during parabolic flights. In all subjects, end-expiratory abdominal pressure (Pga) and volume (Vab) increased with Gz. On average, end-expiratory Pga increased from 7.4 +/- 1.7 cmH2O at + 1 Gz to 14.9 +/- 2.8 cmH2O at + 3 Gz and end-expiratory Vab increased by 0.32 +/- 0.06 liter between + 1 and + 3 Gz. On the other hand, the abdominal contribution to tidal volume (Vab/VT) and abdominal compliance decreased from 34.7 +/- 5.9% and 52 +/- 6 ml/cmH2O at + 1 Gz to 29.3 +/- 5.1% and 26 +/- 4 ml/cmH2O at + 3 Gz, respectively. Changes in end-expiratory Pga were linear between 0 and + 3 Gz, but changes in end-expiratory Vab, Vab/VT, and abdominal compliance were greater in microgravity than in hypergravity. In contrast to weightlessness, which did not alter minute ventilation and tidal changes in Pga and transdiaphragmatic pressure, these variables increased with increasing Gz. These results indicate that, although changes in Gz have a linear effect on abdominal transmural pressure, hypergravity and weightlessness do not have symmetrical effects on chest wall mechanics.
- Copyright © 1995 the American Physiological Society