Optic nerve sheath diameter and spaceflight: defining shortcomings and future directions

Dylan A. Fall, Andrew G. Lee, Eric M. Bershad, Larry A. Kramer, Thomas H. Mader, Jonathan B. Clark, Mohammad I. Hirzallah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Neuro-ocular changes during long-duration space flight are known as spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS). The ability to detect, monitor, and prevent SANS is a priority of current space medicine research efforts. Optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) measurement has been used both terrestrially and in microgravity as a proxy for measurements of elevated intracranial pressure. ONSD shows promise as a potential method of identifying and quantitating neuro-ocular changes during space flight. This review examines 13 studies measuring ONSD and its relationship to microgravity exposure or ground-based analogs, including head-down tilt, dry immersion, or animal models. The goal of this correspondence is to describe heterogeneity in the use of ONSD in the current SANS literature and make recommendations to reduce heterogeneity in future studies through standardization of imaging modalities, measurement techniques, and other aspects of study design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number42
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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