Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2011 Feb 2
Analysis of clinical outcomes of linear vs. deep stop decompression from 3.5 to 6 atmospheres absolute (350 - 600 kpa) in awake rats
Cronjé FJ, Meintjes WA, Bennett PB, Fitchat S, Marroni A, Hyldegaard O.

ecreational divers are introducing "deep stops" at half the depth (HD-DS) to reduce the risk of spinal DCS with only Doppler evidence to support it. Therefore this research was designed to show the effect of an HD-DS on spinal DCS manifestations by evaluating whether: (1) air diving-induced spinal DCS could be produced in awake, freely moving rats at 3.5-6.0 atm abs (350-600 kPa); and (2) whether the introduction of an HD-DS reduced spinal DCS in such a model. Fifty-one female, Wistar rats (221 to 450 g) underwent one-hour compression at 350 to 600 kPa with seven minutes of decompression with/without a five-minute DS (HD-DS / No-DS). Animals were observed for three hours. Outcomes were classified as: (1) asymptomatic; (2) breathing difficulties; (3) paralysis/weakness; (4) immobility; or (5) death. Eight animals, exposed to 385 kPa air breathing for 60 minutes followed by a three-staged decompression of 7.5 minutes, remained asymptomatic. The profile is known to produce spinal DCS in anesthetized rats. Eleven animals were then used to determine the threshold for DCS: 500 kPa. A total of 14 animals were compressed to 550 kPa (Group 1). Group 1-A (n = 8) No-DS; Group 1-B (n = 6) HD-DS; 18 were compressed to 600 kPa (Group 2). Group 2-A (n = 8) No-DS; Group 2-B (n = 10) HD-DS.

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2012 Jun 5
Effect of a single pool dive on pulmonary function in asthmatic and non-asthmatic divers
Ivkovic D, Markovic M, Todorovic BS, Balestra C, Marroni A, Zarkovic M.

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single, shallow, swimming pool scuba dive on pulmonary function in divers with asthma as compared to controls. Opinions concerning the risks of diving with asthma are still contradictory and inconclusive in the diving community.

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Prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms in breath-hold divers
Cialoni D, Sponsiello N, Marabotti C, Marroni A, Pieri M, Maggiorelli F, Tonerini M, Frammartino B.

INTRODUCTION: After repetitive deep dives, breath-hold divers are often affected by a syndrome characterized by typical symptoms such as cough, sensation of chest constriction, blood-striated expectorate (hemoptysis) and, rarely, an overt acute pulmonary edema syndrome, often together with various degrees of dyspnea. The aim of this work is an epidemiological investigation to evaluate the prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms (ARS) in breath-hold divers (BHDs) in practicing breath-hold diving.

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2012 Dec 10
The innervation of the axillary arch determined by surface stimulodetection electromyography
Snoeck T, Balestra C, Calberson F, Pouders C, Provyn S.

The axillary arch (AA) is a muscular anatomical variation in the fossa axillaris that has been extensively studied in cadaveric specimens. Within these dissections, different innervations of the AA have been proposed, but this has never been explored in vivo. Knowledge of the innervation of the AA is required in order to better understand its function (e.g. predisposition for certain sports and/or activities, understanding shoulder injuries in overhead sports). Here, we report on the use of surface stimulodetection electromyography (SSEMG) to resolve the innervation of the AA in 20 subjects (12 women, eight men - mean age of 21.3 ± 2.7 years) with a uni- or bilateral AA. SSEMG of each muscle [M. latissimus dorsi (MLD) and M. pectoralis major] was performed with a four-channel electrostimulation measuring system in order to determine the innervation of the AA. The results showed co-contraction of the MLD in 85% of the subjects after AA stimulation. In the remaining subjects, no specific localized response was observed due to non-specific nerve stimulation, inherent to the proximity of the brachial plexus in these individuals. Our findings demonstrate that SSEMG exploration offers a practical and reliable tool for investigating anatomical aspects of muscle innervation in vivo. Using this approach, we conclude that the AA receives the same innervation as the MLD (the N. thoracodorsalis), and may be considered a muscular extension of the latter.

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2013 Jun 18
Effect of tetrahydrobiopterin and exercise training on endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in SHR
Guerrero F, Thioub S, Goanvec C, Theunissen S, Feray A, Balestra C, Mansourati J.

We examined whether the improvement of impaired NO-dependent vasorelaxation by exercise training could be mediated through a BH4-dependent mechanism. Male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR, n = 20) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY, n = 20) were trained (Tr) for 9 weeks on a treadmill and compared to age-matched sedentary animals (Sed). Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (EDV) was assessed with acetylcholine by measuring isometric tension in rings of femoral artery precontracted with 10(-5) M phenylephrine. EDV was impaired in SHR-Sed as compared to WKY-Sed (p = 0.02). Training alone improved EDV in both WKY (p = 0.01) and SHR (p = 0.0001). Moreover, EDV was not different in trained SHR than in trained WKY (p = 0.934). Pretreatment of rings with L-NAME (50 μM) cancelled the difference in ACh-induced relaxation between all groups, suggesting that NO pathway is involved in these differences. The presence of 10(-5) M BH4 in the organ bath significantly improved EDV for sedentary SHR (p = 0.030) but not WKY group (p = 0.815). Exercise training turned the beneficial effect of BH4 on SHR to impairment of ACh-induced vasorelaxation in both SHR-Tr (p = 0.01) and WKY-Tr groups (p = 0.04). These results suggest that beneficial effect of exercise training on endothelial function is due partly to a BH4-dependent mechanism in established hypertension.

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