Selected scientific publications on diving medicine and physiology.

2014 Apr 1
Circulatory bubble dynamics: from physical to biological aspects
Papadopoulou V, Tang MX, Balestra C, Eckersley RJ, Karapantsios TD.

Bubbles can form in the body during or after decompression from pressure exposures such as those undergone by scuba divers, astronauts, caisson and tunnel workers. Bubble growth and detachment physics then becomes significant in predicting and controlling the probability of these bubbles causing mechanical problems by blocking vessels, displacing tissues, or inducing an inflammatory cascade if they persist for too long in the body before being dissolved...

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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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2014 Mar 1
Association of digital vascular function with cardiovascular risk factors: a population study.
Kuznetsova T, Van Vlierberghe E, Knez J, Szczesny G, Thijs L, Jozeau D, Balestra C, D'hooge J, Staessen JA.

OBJECTIVES: Vasodilation of the peripheral arteries during reactive hyperaemia depends in part on release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells. Previous studies mainly employed a fingertip tonometric device to derive pulse wave amplitude (PWA) and PWA hyperaemic changes. An alternative approach is based on photoplethysmography (PPG). We sought to evaluate the correlates of digital PPG PWA hyperaemic responses as a measure of peripheral vascular function...

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2014 Mar 1
The "normobaric oxygen paradox": a new tool for the anesthetist?
Rocco M, D'Itri L, De Bels D, Corazza F, Balestra C.

Hypoxia is the natural trigger for endogenous EPO production but recently the use of intermittent hyperoxia to stimulate EPO has been postulated and this phenomenon has been called the "normobaric oxygen paradox" (NOP). The "NOP" is a mechanism by which oxygen regulates the expression of the Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α)...

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2014 Mar 1
The use of portable 2D echocardiography and 'frame-based' bubble counting as a tool to evaluate diving decompression stress
Germonpré P, Papadopoulou V, Hemelryck W, Obeid G, Lafère P, Eckersley RJ, Tang MX, Balestra C.

INTRODUCTION: 'Decompression stress' is commonly evaluated by scoring circulating bubble numbers post dive using Doppler or cardiac echography. This information may be used to develop safer decompression algorithms, assuming that the lower the numbers of venous gas emboli (VGE) observed post dive, the lower the statistical risk of decompression sickness (DCS). Current echocardiographic evaluation of VGE, using the Eftedal and Brubakk method, has some disadvantages as it is less well suited for large-scale evaluation of recreational diving profiles. We propose and validate a new 'frame-based' VGE-counting method which offers a continuous scale of measurement...

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