Persistent Globe Flattening in Astronauts following Long-Duration Spaceflight

Thomas H. Mader, C. Robert Gibson, Michael R. Barratt, Neil R. Miller, Prem S. Subramanian, Hanspeter E. Killer, William J. Tarver, Ashot E. Sargsyan, Kathleen Garcia, Stephen F. Hart, Larry A. Kramer, Roy Riascos, Tyson J. Brunstetter, William Lipsky, Peter Wostyn, Andrew G. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Posterior globe flattening has been well-documented in astronauts both during and after long-duration space flight (LDSF) and has been observed as early as 10 days into a mission on the International Space Station. Globe flattening (GF) is thought to be caused by the disc centred anterior forces created by elevated volume and/or pressure within the optic nerve sheath (ONS). This might be the result of increased intracranial pressure, increased intraorbital ONS pressure from compartmentalisation or a combination of these mechanisms. We report posterior GF in three astronauts that has persisted for 7 years or more following their return from LDSFs suggesting that permanent scleral remodelling may have occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StateE-pub ahead of print - Sep 3 2020


  • SANS
  • astronaut
  • hyperopic shift
  • international space station (ISS)
  • long-duration space flight (LDSF)
  • visual changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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