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Recompression During Decompression and Effects on Bubble Formation in the Pig

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Møllerløkken A, Gutvik C, Berge VJ, Jørgensen A, Løset A, Brubakk AO. Recompression during decompression and effects on bubble formation in the pig. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:557–560.

Introduction: There is a relationship between gas bubble formation in the vascular system and serious decompression sickness. Hence, control of the formation of vascular bubbles should allow safer decompression procedures. Methods: There were 12 pigs that were randomly divided into an experimental group (EXP) and a control group (CTR) of 6 animals each. The pigs were compressed to 500 kPa (5 ATA) in a dry hyperbaric chamber and held for 90 min bottom time breathing air. CTR animals were decompressed according to a modified USN dive profile requiring four stops. EXP followed the same profile except that a 5-min recompression of 50 kPa (0.5 ATA) was added at the end of each of the last three decompression stops before ascending to the next stop depth. Results: All CTR animals developed bubbles, compared with only one animal in EXP. The number of bubbles detected during and after the dive was 0.02 ± 0.02 bubbles · cm−2 in CTR, while the number of bubbles detected in EXP were 0.0009 ± 0.005 bubbles · cm−2; the difference was highly significant. Conclusion: By brief recompression during late decompression stops, the amount of bubbles was reduced. Our findings give further support for a gas phase model of decompression.
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Keywords: DCS; diving; vascular gas bubbles

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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