The aim of the study was to establish the effects of scuba diving on microparticles — cellular debris — in the blood and their possible role in the mechanisms of DCS. The measurements combined microparticle measurements and ultrasound detection of venous gas emboli (VGE or bubbles) after dives. This study was conducted in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Split, Croatia.
This study was completed in 2015.
Dive researchers use several tools to quantify decompression stress associated with diving; in recent years the tool of choice to document decompression stress is the use of ultrasonic assessment of circulating venous gas emboli (VGE or bubbles). In this partnered study, DAN researchers evaluated microparticles — cellular debris — accumulating in venous blood in response to stress. Ultrasound was used to visualize circulating VGE. Combining ultrasound and microparticle studies allowed researchers to more quickly evaluate the utility of microparticle assays. Dive outcomes are correlated to the exposure and collected measures. Researchers implemented microparticle assays into both controlled and observational studies.
Additional Reading and References
- Bilopavlovic N, Marinovic J, Ljubkovic M, Obad A, Zanchi J, Pollock NW, Denoble PJ, Dujic Z. Effect of repetitive scuba diving on humoral markers of endothelial and central nervous system integrity. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Feb 12.
- Thom SR, Milovanova TN, Bogush M, Bhopale VM, Yang M, Bushmann K, Pollock NW, Ljubkovic M, Denoble P, Dujic Z. Microparticle production, neutrophil activation and intravascular bubbles following open-water scuba diving. J Appl Physiol. 2012; 112(8):1268-78.
- Thom SR, Milovanova TN, Bogush M, Yang M, Bhopale VM, Pollock NW, Ljubkovic M, Denoble PJ, Madden D, Lozo M, Dujic Z. Bubbles, microparticles and neutrophil activation: changes with exercise level and breathing gas during open-water scuba diving. J Appl Physiol. 2013 Mar 14.
- Thom SR, Bennett M, Banham ND, Chin W, Blake DF, Rosen A, Pollock NW, Madden D, Barak OF, Marroni A, Balestra C, Germonpre P, Pieri M, Cialoni D, Le PJ, Logue C, Lambert D, Hardy KR, Sward D, Yang M, Bhopale VB, Dujic Z. The association of blood-borne microparticles and neutrophil activation with decompression sickness. Undersea Hyperb Med 2015; 42(5):427-34.