Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume

H. Akima, Yasuo Kawakami, K. Kubo, C. Sekiguchi, H. Ohshima, A. Miyamoto, T. Fukunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Human skeletal muscle probably atrophies as a result of spaceflight, but few studies have examined this issue. Thus, little is known about the influence of microgravity upon human skeletal muscle, nor is it possible to assess the validity of ground based models of spaceflight. This study tested the hypothesis that the magnitude of spaceflight induced muscle atrophy would be a function of flight duration and greater than that of bed rest. Methods: Three astronauts flew 9, 15, and 16 d in space. Volume of the knee extensor (quadriceps femoris), knee flexor (hamstrings, sartorius, and gracilis), and plantar flexor (triceps surae) muscle groups was measured using magnetic resonance imaging before and after spaceflight and during recovery. The volume of each muscle group in each image was determined by multiplying cross-sectional area by slice thickness. These values were subsequently summed to calculate muscle volume. Results: Volume changes in the knee extensor, knee flexor, and plantar flexor muscle groups ranged from -15.4 to -5.5, -14.1 to -5.6, and -8.8 to -15.9%, respectively. Muscle volume decreases normalized by flight duration ranged from 0.62 to 1.04%.d-1. These relative changes appeared to be greater than those that we have reported previously for bed rest (Akima et al., J. Gravitat. Physiol. 4:15-22, 1997). Conclusions: These results suggest that atrophy as a result of at least 2 wk of spaceflight varied among individuals and muscle groups and that the degree of atrophy appeared to be greater than that induced by 20 d of bed rest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1747
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume32
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Space Flight
Thigh
Leg
Muscles
Bed Rest
Knee
Muscular Atrophy
Atrophy
Skeletal Muscle
Astronauts
Weightlessness
Quadriceps Muscle
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Disuse
  • Human
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Akima, H., Kawakami, Y., Kubo, K., Sekiguchi, C., Ohshima, H., Miyamoto, A., & Fukunaga, T. (2000). Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 32(10), 1743-1747.

Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume. / Akima, H.; Kawakami, Yasuo; Kubo, K.; Sekiguchi, C.; Ohshima, H.; Miyamoto, A.; Fukunaga, T.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 32, No. 10, 2000, p. 1743-1747.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Akima, H, Kawakami, Y, Kubo, K, Sekiguchi, C, Ohshima, H, Miyamoto, A & Fukunaga, T 2000, 'Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 32, no. 10, pp. 1743-1747.
Akima H, Kawakami Y, Kubo K, Sekiguchi C, Ohshima H, Miyamoto A et al. Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2000;32(10):1743-1747.
Akima, H. ; Kawakami, Yasuo ; Kubo, K. ; Sekiguchi, C. ; Ohshima, H. ; Miyamoto, A. ; Fukunaga, T. / Effect of short-duration spaceflight on thigh and leg muscle volume. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2000 ; Vol. 32, No. 10. pp. 1743-1747.
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