Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

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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2021 Sep 29
Comparison of insulation provided by dry or wetsuits among recreational divers during cold water immersion ( < 5°C)
Pierre Lafère, François Guerrero, Peter Germonpré, Costantino Balestra

Background: Divers thermal status influences susceptibility to decompression sickness hence the need for proper insulation during immersion in cold water. However, there is a lack of data on thermal protection provided by diving suits, hence this study.

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2021 Sep 27
Physiological and Clinical Impact of Repeated Inhaled Oxygen Variation on Erythropoietin Levels in Patients After Surgery
Khalife M, Ben Aziz M, Balestra C, Valsamis J & Sosnowski M.

The “Normobaric Oxygen Paradox” (NOP) is a physiologic mechanism that induces an increase of endogenous erythropoietin (EPO) production by creating a state of relative hypoxia in subjects previously exposed to hyperoxia, followed by a rapid return to normoxia.

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