Effect of a single, open-sea, air scuba dive on human micro- and macrovascular function

K. Lambrechts, J.M. M. Pontier, C. Balestra, A. Mazur, Q. Wang, Peter Buzzacott, M. Theron, J. Mansourati, F. Guerrero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2637-2645
    Number of pages9
    JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
    Volume113
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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