Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2004 Jan 1
The Fractal approach as a tool to understand asymptomatic brain hyperintense MRI signals
Balestra C., Germonprè P., Marroni A., Farkas B., Peetrons P., Vanderschueren F., Duboc E., Snoeck T.

The prevalence of a Patent Foramen Ovale is described in merely 30% of the asymptomatic population. This patency has been shown to be an increasing risk factor for paradoxical cerebral embolization. Some desaturation or decompression situations in human activities such as scuba diving or altitude flight are prone to provoke embolisations.

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2016 Oct 24
Response: Commentary: Correlation between Patent Foramen Ovale, Cerebral “Lesions” and Neuropsychometric Testing in Experienced Sports Divers: Does Diving Damage the Brain?
Balestra C., Germonpré P.

Nutritional antioxidants have been proposed as an expedient strategy to counter the potentially deleterious effects of scuba diving on endothelial function, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and heart function. Sixteen volunteers performing a single standard dive (20 min at 33 m) according to US Navy diving procedures were randomly assigned to two groups: one was administered with two doses of 200 mg of an anthocyanins (AC)-rich extract from red oranges, 12 and 4 h before diving. Anthocyanins supplementation significantly modulated the effects of diving on haematocrit, body water distribution and FMD.

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2016 Dec 30
Pre-dive Whole-Body Vibration Better Reduces Decompression-Induced Vascular Gas Emboli than Oxygenation or a Combination of Both
Balestra C., Theunissen S., Papadopoulou V., Le Mener C., Germonpré P., Guerrero F., Lafère P.

Purpose: Since non-provocative dive profiles are no guarantor of protection against decompression sickness, novel means including pre-dive “preconditioning” interventions, are proposed for its prevention. This study investigated and compared the effect of pre-dive oxygenation, pre-dive whole body vibration or a combination of both on post-dive bubble formation.

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2014 Mar 31
The lymphatic pathway for microbubbles
Balestra C.

The sites for formation of microbubbles that are routinely detected precordially by Doppler after a decompression are still a matter of debate. Firstly, microbubbles could form on the endothelial wall of capillaries, at specific nanometric sites, but the release mechanism of such small emerging entities remains puzzling.

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2018 Mar 31
Spirometry and oxidative stress after rebreather diving in warm water
Bosco G., Rizzato A., Quartesan S., Camporesi E., Mrakic-Sposta S., Moretti S., Balestra C., Rubini A.

Introduction: Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) therapy and use of enriched air can result in oxidative injury affecting the brain, lungs and eyes. HBO₂ exposure during diving can lead to a decrease in respiratory parameters. However, the possible effects of acute exposure to oxygen-enriched diving on subsequent spirometric performance and oxidative state in humans have not been recently described recently. We aim to investigate possible effects of acute (i) hyperbaric and (ii) hyperbaric hyperoxic exposure using scuba or closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) on subsequent spirometry and to assess the role of oxidative state after hyperoxic diving.

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