Results from space have been unexpected and not predictable from the results of ground-based simulations. Therefore, the concept of how weightlessness and gravity modulates the regulation of body fluids must be revised and a new simulation model developed. The main questions to ask in the future are the following: Does weightlessness induce a diuresis and natriuresis during the initial hours of space flight leading to an extracellular and intravascular fluid volume deficit? Can sodium in excess be stored in a hitherto unknown way, particularly during space flight? Why are fluid and sodium retaining systems activated by spaceflight? Why are the renal responses to saline and water stimuli in space attenuated compared with those of ground simulations? How can the effects of weightlessness on fluid and electrolyte regulation be correctly simulated on the ground? The information obtained from space may be of relevance to fluid and electrolyte balance in edematous patients.
American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2001, Vol 38, Issue 3, p. 696-8