Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2022 Jan 18
White Blood Cells, Platelets, Red Blood Cells and Gas Bubbles in SCUBA Diving: Is There a Relationship?
Cialoni D, Brizzolari A, Barassi A, Bosco G, Pieri M, Lancellotti V, Marroni A.

Background: SCUBA diving can influence changes of several hematological parameters (HP) but the changes of HP in the decompression phases are still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate any possible relationship between HP and predisposition to inert gas bubble formation after a single recreational dive.

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2022 Jan 15
Full-Face Mask Use during SCUBA Diving Counters Related Oxidative Stress and Endothelial Dysfunction
Morgan Levenez, Kate Lambrechts, Simona Mrakic-Sposta, Alessandra Vezzoli, Peter Germonpré, Hadrien Pique, Fabio Virgili, Gerardo Bosco, Pierre Lafère and Costantino Balestra

Abstract: Impaired flow mediated dilation (FMD), an index of vascular stress, is known after SCUBA diving. This is related to a dysfunction of nitric oxide (NO) availability and a disturbance of the redox status, possibly induced by hyperoxic/hyperbaric gas breathing.

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2021 Nov 28
Physiology of repeated mixed gas 100-m wreck dives using a closed-circuit rebreather: a field bubble study
Balestra C, Guerrero F, Theunissen S, Germonpre P & Lafere P.

Purpose Data regarding decompression stress after deep closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) dives are scarce. This study aimed to monitor technical divers during a wreck diving expedition and provide an insight in venous gas emboli (VGE) dynamics. Methods Diving practices of ten technical divers were observed. They performed a series of three consecutive daily dives around 100 m.

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2021 Oct 29
Increased Risk of Decompression Sickness When Diving With a Right-to-Left Shunt: Results of a Prospective Single-Blinded Observational Study (The “Carotid Doppler” Study)
Germonpré Peter, Lafère Pierre, Portier William, Germonpré Faye-Lisa, Marroni Alessandro, Balestra Costantino

Introduction: Divers with a patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) have an increased risk for decompression sickness (DCS) when diving with compressed breathing gas. The relative risk increase, however, is difficult to establish as the PFO status of divers is usually only determined after a DCS occurrence.

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2021 Oct 25
Oxygen: A Stimulus, Not "Only" a Drug
Balestra C & Kot J.

Depending on the oxygen partial pressure in a tissue, the therapeutic effect of oxygenation can vary from simple substance substitution up to hyperbaric oxygenation when breathing hyperbaric oxygen at 2.5–3.0 ATA. Surprisingly, new data showed that it is not only the oxygen supply that matters as even a minimal increase in the partial pressure of oxygen is efficient in triggering cellular reactions by eliciting the production of hypoxia-inducible factors and heat-shock proteins. Moreover, it was shown that extreme environments could also interact with the genome; in fact, epigenetics appears to play a major role in extreme environments and exercise, especially when changes in oxygen partial pressure are involved.

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