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Decompression from Saturation Using Oxygen: Its Effect on DCS and RNA in Large Swine

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Malkevich N, McCarron RM, Mahon RT. Decompression from saturation using oxygen: its effect on DCS and RNA in large swine. Aviat Space Environ Med 2010; 81:15–21.

Introduction: The use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) to expedite decompression from saturation has not been proven and may increase risk of toxicity to the pulmonary system. To evaluate any benefit of HBO during decompression, we used a 70-kg swine model of saturation and examined lung tissue by microarray analysis for evidence of RNA regulation. Methods: Unrestrained, non-sedated swine were compressed to 132 fsw (5 ATA) for 22 h to achieve saturation. Animals then underwent decompression on air (AirD) or HBO (HBOD) starting at 45 fsw (2.36 ATA). Animals were evaluated for Type I and Type II decompression sickness (DCS) for 24 h. Control (SHAM) animals were placed in the chamber for the same duration, but were not compressed. Animals were sacrificed 24 h after exposure and total RNA was isolated from lung samples for microarray hybridizations on the Affymetrix platform. Results: There was no evidence of Type I DCS or severe cardiopulmonary DCS in any of the animals; abnormal gaits were noted only in the HBOD group (4/9). Three genes (nidogen 2, calcitonin-like receptor, and pentaxin-related gene) were significantly up-regulated in both the AirD and HBOD groups compared to controls. Three other genes (TN3, platelet basic protein, and cytochrome P450) were significantly down-regulated in both groups. Conclusions: HBO during decompression from saturation did not reduce the incidence of DCS. Gene regulation was apparent and similar in both the AirD and HBOD groups, particularly in genes related to immune function and cell signaling.
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Keywords: DCS; accelerated decompression; decompression illness; decompression sickness; oxygen pre-breathe; oxygen toxicity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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