Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2020 Jun 1
Evaluation of Protection Level, Respiratory Safety, and Practical Aspects of Commercially Available Snorkel Masks as Personal Protection Devices Against Aerosolized Contaminants and SARS-CoV2
Germonpre, P., D. Van Rompaey, and C. Balestra

Introduction: The “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2″ (SARS-CoV2) pandemic has led to a worldwide shortage of personal protection devices (PPD) for medical and paramedical personnel. Adaptation of commercially available snorkel masks to serve as full face masks has been proposed. Even not formally approved as PPD, they are publicized on social media as suitable for this use. Concerns about actual protection levels and risk of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulation while wearing them for extended periods made us perform a systematic testing of various brands, in order to verify whether they are as safe and effective as claimed.

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2020 Apr 17
Early Endothelial Dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes Is Accompanied by an Impairment of Vascular Smooth Muscle
Elodie Lespagnol, Luc Dauchet, Mehdi Pawlak-Chaouch, Costantino Balestra, Serge Berthoin, Martin Feelisch, Matthieu Roustit, Julien Boissière, Pierre Fontaine, Elsa Heyman

Background: A large yet heterogeneous body of literature exists suggesting that endothelial dysfunction appears early in type 1 diabetes, due to hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress. The latter may also affect vascular smooth muscles (VSM) function, a layer albeit less frequently considered in that pathology. This meta-analysis aims at evaluating the extent, and the contributing risk factors, of early endothelial dysfunction, and of the possible concomitant VSM dysfunction, in type 1 diabetes. Methods: PubMed, Web of Sciences, Cochrane Library databases were screened from their respective inceptions until October 2019. We included studies comparing vasodilatory capacity depending or not on endothelium (i.e., endothelial function or VSM function, respectively) in patients with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes and healthy controls.

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2020 Mar 1
Field Study of Anthropomorphic and Muscle Performance Changes Among Elite Skippers Following a Transoceanic Race
Pierre Lafère, Yann Gatzoff, François Guerrero, Steven Provyn, Costantino Balestra

Background: Ocean racing has become increasingly demanding, both physically and psychologically. The aim of the study was to assess global changes after a transoceanic race. Materials and methods: Eight male sailors were evaluated pre- and post-race through anthropometric measurements (weight, skinfold, girth at different level and estimated body fat percentage), multifrequency tetrapolar bioelectrical impedance, muscular performance, visual analogic scale for perceived fatigue and Critical Flicker Fusion Frequencies for cerebral arousal.

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2020 Feb 12
Hyperoxia Alters Ultrastructure and Induces Apoptosis in Leukemia Cell Lines
David De Bels, Frauke Tillmans, Francis Corazza, Mariano Bizzarri, Peter Germonpre, Peter Radermacher, Keziban Günce Orman, and Costantino Balestra

Oxygenation conditions are crucial for growth and tumor progression. Recent data suggests a decrease in cancer cell proliferation occurring after exposure to normobaric hyperoxia. Those changes are associated with fractal dimension. The purpose of this research was to study the impact of hyperoxia on apoptosis and morphology of leukemia cell lines. Two hematopoietic lymphoid cancer cell lines (a T-lymphoblastoid line, JURKAT and a B lymphoid line, CCRF-SB) were tested under conditions of normobaric hyperoxia (FiO2 > 60%, ± 18h) and compared to a standard group (FiO2 = 21%). We tested for apoptosis using a caspase-3 assay.

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2019 Nov 27
Doppler ultrasound dataset for the development of automatic emboli detection algorithms
Paola Pierleoni, Marco Mercuri Alberto Belli, Massimo Pieri, Alessandro Marroni, Lorenzo Palma

The article describes a dataset of doppler ultrasound audio tracks taken on a sample of 30 divers according to the acquisition protocol defined by the Divers Alert Network. The audio tracks are accompanied by a medical evaluation for the decompression sickness risk according to the Spencer's scale levels. During the acquisition campaign, each diver in the post-dive phase was subjected to a double doppler ultrasound examination of approximately 45 seconds each one in the precordial area using a Huntleigh FD1 Fetal doppler probe. The two measurements were separated by a time of 8-10 seconds necessary for carrying out specific physical exercises designed to free the bubbles trapped in the tissues.

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