"Yo-yo" diving may place divers at a greater risk of neurologic decompression illness (DCI). Using a rat model, we previously demonstrated that "yo-yo" diving has a protective effect against DCI. In the current study, we evaluated the risk of neurologic DCI following "yo-yo" dives in a pig model. Pigs were divided into four groups. The Control group (A) made a square dive, without excursions to the surface ("peeps"). Group B performed 2 "peeps", Group C performed 4 "peeps", and Group D did not dive at all. All dives were conducted on air to 5 atmospheres absolute, for 30 min bottom time. Echocardiography was performed to detect cardiac gas bubbles before the dive, immediately after, and at 90 min post-dive. Motor performance was observed during the 5-h post-dive period. Symptoms increased dramatically following a dive with 4 "peeps". Gas bubbles were detected in the right ventricle of all animals except for the sham group, and in the left ventricle only after the 4-peep dive. Neuronal cell injury was found in the spinal cord in each of the three experimental groups, tending to decrease with an increase in the number of "peeps". A 4-peep "yo-yo" dive significantly increased the risk of neurologic DCI in pigs. Following a 4-peep dive, we detected a higher incidence of bubbles in the left ventricle, supporting the common concern regarding an increased risk of neurologic DCI, albeit there was no direct correlation with the frequency of "red neurons" in the spinal cord.
- decompression illness;
- gas bubbles;
- neuronal injury
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Applied Physiology