Copyright © 2004 by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Published by The Mars Society with permission.
SONOGRAPHIC ASSESSMENT OF SKELETAL MUSCLES:
IMPLICATIONS FOR A MANNED MISSION TO MARS
Kenneth J. Niermann, M.D.
Arthur C. Fleischer, M.D.
Adrian Jarquin-Valdivia, M.D.
Cameron C. Jones
Edwin Donnelly, M.D., Ph.D.
David S. Martin, RDMS
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Department of Radiology & Radiological Sciences
1161 21st Avenue South
Nashville, Tennessee USA 37232-2675
Advances in ultrasonography have yielded new and expanded clinical applications in medical imaging. New methodologies and technological developments have provided meaningful ways to quantitatively assess soft tissue composition in the human body, empowering clinicians to make well-founded clinical diagnoses and decisions. Sonographic scanners can provide real-time information about tissue edema, blood flow, muscle fiber density, and fatty infiltration.
The physiological appraisal of skeletal muscles has particular importance for humans undergoing interplanetary travel, given the extreme biochemical transformations that take place in muscles in the setting of microgravity. Currently, there is a modified high-resolution ultrasound scanner embedded within the Human Research Module of the International Space Station that can be used to assess muscle texture and flow.