A single air dive reduces arterial endothelial function in man

Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
The Journal of Physiology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 09/2005; 566(Pt 3):901-6. DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2005.089862
Source: PubMed


During and after decompression from dives, gas bubbles are regularly observed in the right ventricular outflow tract. A number of studies have documented that these bubbles can lead to endothelial dysfunction in the pulmonary artery but no data exist on the effect of diving on arterial endothelial function. The present study investigated if diving or oxygen breathing would influence endothelial arterial function in man. A total of 21 divers participated in this study. Nine healthy experienced male divers with a mean age of 31 +/- 5 years were compressed in a hyperbaric chamber to 280 kPa at a rate of 100 kPa min(-1) breathing air and remaining at pressure for 80 min. The ascent rate during decompression was 9 kPa min(-1) with a 7 min stop at 130 kPa (US Navy procedure). Another group of five experienced male divers (31 +/- 6 years) breathed 60% oxygen (corresponding to the oxygen tension of air at 280 kPa) for 80 min. Before and after exposure, endothelial function was assessed in both groups as flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) by ultrasound in the brachial artery. The results were compared to data obtained from a group of seven healthy individuals of the same age who had never dived. The dive produced few vascular bubbles, but a significant arterial diameter increase from 4.5 +/- 0.7 to 4.8 +/- 0.8 mm (mean +/- s.d.) and a significant reduction of FMD from 9.2 +/- 6.9 to 5.0 +/- 6.7% were observed as an indication of reduced endothelial function. In the group breathing oxygen, arterial diameter increased significantly from 4.4 +/- 0.3 mm to 4.7 +/- 0.3 mm, while FMD showed an insignificant decrease. Oxygen breathing did not decrease nitroglycerine-induced dilatation significantly. In the normal controls the arterial diameter and FMD were 4.1 +/- 0.4 mm and 7.7 +/- 0.2.8%, respectively. This study shows that diving can lead to acute arterial endothelial dysfunction in man and that oxygen breathing will increase arterial diameter after return to breathing air. Further studies are needed to determine if these mechanisms are involved in tissue injury following diving.

Download full-text


Available from: Alf O Brubakk, Jul 04, 2014
  • Source
    • "Indeed, we previously showed that a 3-month intensive training for diving decreased bubble formation after a standard dive (Pontier et al. 2009a) in same military dive trainees population used in this study. Postdive impairment of FMD is probably independent from bubble formation as suggested when decreased FMD even after a single air dive producing few vascular bubbles (Brubakk et al. 2005) as also occurs after breath-hold dives (Theunissen et al. 2013). Thus, the lack of postdive impairment of response to ACh can be due to other mechanisms related to acclimatization. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We previously showed microvascular alteration of both endothelium-dependent and -independent reactivity after a single SCUBA dive. We aimed to study mechanisms involved in this postdive vascular dysfunction. Ten divers each completed three protocols: (1) a SCUBA dive at 400 kPa for 30 min; (2) a 41-min duration of seawater surface head immersed finning exercise to determine the effect of immersion and moderate physical activity; and (3) a simulated 41-min dive breathing 100% oxygen (hyperbaric oxygen [HBO]) at 170 kPa in order to analyze the effect of diving-induced hyperoxia. Bubble grades were monitored with Doppler. Cutaneous microvascular function was assessed by laser Doppler. Endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine, ACh) and -independent (sodium nitroprusside, SNP) reactivity was tested by iontophoresis. Endothelial cell activation was quantified by plasma Von Willebrand factor and nitric oxide (NO). Inactivation of NO by oxidative stress was assessed by plasma nitrotyrosine. Platelet factor 4 (PF4) was assessed in order to determine platelet aggregation. Blood was also analyzed for measurement of platelet count. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) response to ACh delivery was not significantly decreased by the SCUBA protocol (23 ± 9% before vs. 17 ± 7% after; P = 0.122), whereas CVC response to SNP stimulation decreased significantly (23 ± 6% before vs. 10 ± 1% after; P = 0.039). The HBO and immersion protocols did not affect either endothelial-dependent or -independent function. The immersion protocol induced a significant increase in NO (0.07 ± 0.01 vs. 0.12 ± 0.02 μg/mL; P = 0.035). This study highlighted change in microvascular endothelial-independent but not -dependent function in highly trained divers after a single air dive. The results suggest that the effects of decompression on microvascular function may be modified by diving acclimatization.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013
  • Source
    • "This suggests a negative effect of diving upon vascular function in both vascular beds. Our data confirm the results of previous studies showing a reduction in brachial artery FMD after a single air dive (Brubakk et al. 2005). Indeed, pre-dive FMD values (11 ± 4 %) and a 50 % reduction after diving are in accordance with such previous studies. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that bubble formation induced endothelial damage on conduit arteries. We aim to evaluate the effect of diving on microvascular and macrovascular function. Nine divers took part in a SCUBA dive at 30 msw (400 kPa), for 30 min of bottom time. Pre- and post-dive, they underwent an assessment of endothelial-dependent (acetylcholine) and endothelial-independent (sodium nitroprusside) microvascular function (laser Doppler flowmetry), as well as endothelial-dependent (flow-mediated dilation) and endothelial-independent (nitroglycerin-mediated dilation) function. Bubble grades were monitored with Doppler according to the Spencer grade. The mean KISS bubble score ranged from 21.10 ± 4.7 at rest to 55.03 ± 8.8 after knee flexion. The increase in cutaneous vascular conductance elicited by either acetylcholine (25.34 ± 6.71 to 7.63 ± 1.25 %, p = 0.021) or sodium nitroprusside (35.24 ± 8.75 to 7.61 ± 1.86 %, p = 0.017) was significantly reduced after diving. Similarly, both flow-mediated dilation (10.8 ± 0.9 to 5.4 ± 1.5 %, p = 0.002) and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation (15 ± 1.1 to 6.5 ± 1.6 %, p = 0.002) were also significantly decreased. There were no correlations between vascular parameters and bubble formation. There appears to be a reduction in endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent, macro- and microvascular function associated with diving. Our results suggest that in the process of vascular dysfunction during diving, functional changes in the vessel wall may not be limited to the endothelium and may be mediated by alterations in vascular smooth muscle.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Arbeitsphysiologie
  • Source
    • "after a single air dive where very few venous gas bubbles could be detected in the pulmonary artery (Brubakk et al. 2005). Also, following successive deep dives, endothelial function was impaired in experienced divers (Obad et al. 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) seems to be related to bubble formation and endothelial dysfunction resulting in decompression sickness. Bubble formation can be affected by aerobic exercise or manipulating NO. A prior heat stress (HS) has been shown to confer protection against decompression sickness in rats. An important question was if the oxidative environment experienced during diving limits the availability of the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). Human endothelial cells were used to investigate how HS and simulated diving affected NO synthesis and defense systems such as heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and glutathione (GSH). BH4 was measured using a novel LC-MS/MS method and NOS by monitoring the conversion of radiolabeled L-arginine to L-citrulline. Increased pO(2) reduced BH4 levels in cells in a dose-dependent manner independently of high pressure. This effect may result in decreased generation of NO by NOS. The BH4 decrease seemed to be abolished when cells were exposed to HS prior to hyperoxia. NOS enzyme was unaffected by increased pO(2) but substantially reduced after HS. The BH4 level seemed to a minor extent to be dependent upon GSH and probably to a higher degree dependent on other antioxidants such as ascorbic acid. A simulated dive at 60 kPa O(2) had a potentiating effect on the heat-induced HSP70 expression, whereas GSH levels were unaffected by hyperoxic exposure. HS, hyperoxia, and dive affected several biochemical parameters that may play important roles in the mechanisms protecting against the adverse effects of saturation diving.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Arbeitsphysiologie
Show more