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Physiology of deep closed circuit rebreather mixed gas diving: vascular gas emboli and biological changes during a week-long liveaboard safari.

Introduction: Diving decompression theory hypothesizes inflammatory processes as a source of micronuclei which could increase related risks. Therefore, we tested 10 healthy, male divers. They performed 6-8 dives with a maximum of two dives per day at depths ranging from 21 to 122 msw with CCR mixed gas diving. Methods: Post-dive VGE were counted by echocardiography. Saliva and urine samples were taken before and after each dive to evaluate inflammation: ROS production, lipid peroxidation (8-iso-PGF2), DNA damage (8-OH-dG), cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and neopterin). Results: VGE exhibits a progressive reduction followed by an increase ( p < 0.0001) which parallels inflammation responses. Indeed, ROS, 8-iso-PGF2, IL-6 and neopterin increases from 0.19 ± 0.02 to 1.13 ± 0.09 μmol.min-1 ( p < 0.001); 199.8 ± 55.9 to 632.7 ± 73.3 ng.mg-1 creatinine ( p < 0.0001); 2.35 ± 0.54 to 19.5 ± 2.96 pg.mL-1 ( p < 0.001); and 93.7 ± 11.2 to 299 ± 25.9 μmol·mol-1 creatinine ( p = 0.005), respectively. The variation after each dive was held constant around 158.3% ± 6.9% ( p = 0.021); 151.4% ± 5.7% ( p < 0.0001); 176.3% ± 11.9% ( p < 0.0001); and 160.1% ± 5.6% ( p < 0.001), respectively. Discussion: When oxy-inflammation reaches a certain level, it exceeds hormetic coping mechanisms allowing second-generation micronuclei substantiated by an increase of VGE after an initial continuous decrease consistent with a depletion of "first generation" pre-existing micronuclei.

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