Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

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.

Read more

2021 Sep 16
Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, MicroRNA, and Hemoglobin Variations after Administration of Oxygen at Different Pressures and Concentrations: A Randomized Trial
Bosco G, Paganini M, Giacon TA, Oppio A, Vezzoli A, Dellanoce C, Moro T, Paoli A, Zanotti F, Zavan B, Balestra C & Mrakic-Sposta S.

Exercise generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), creating a redox imbalance towards oxidation when inadequately intense. Normobaric and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) breathed while not exercising induces antioxidant enzymes expression, but literature is still poor.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more