We studied the ventilation-perfusion matching pattern in normal gravity (1 G) and short- and long-duration microgravity (microG) using the cardiogenic oscillations in the sulfur hexaflouride (SF(6)) and CO(2) concentration signals during the phase III portion of vital capacity single-breath washout experiments. The signal power of the cardiogenic concentration variations was assessed by spectral analysis, and the phase angle between the oscillations of the two simultaneously expired gases was obtained through cross-correlation. For CO(2), a significant reduction of cardiogenic power was observed in microG, with respect to 1 G, but the reduction was smaller and more variable in the case of SF(6). A shift from an in-phase condition in 1 G to an out-of-phase condition was found for both short- and long-duration microG. We conclude that, although the distribution of ventilation and perfusion becomes more homogeneous in microG, significant inhomogeneities persist and that areas of high perfusion become associated with areas of relatively lower ventilation. In addition, these modifications seem to remain constant during long-term exposure to microG.
Y. Verbandt, M. Wantier, G. Prisk
Journal of applied physiology