Ocular bubble formation as a method of assessing decompression stress

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Ocular bubble formation as a method of assessing decompression stress

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Title: Ocular bubble formation as a method of assessing decompression stress
Author: Mekjavic, IB; Campbell, DG; Jaki, P; Dovsak, PA
Abstract: Tear film bubble formation and ultrasound reflectivity of the lens-vitreous humor compartments were monitored following simulated dives in a hyperbaric chamber. the sensitivity of these methods in determining decompression stress was compared with the results of precordial Doppler ultrasound. In addition, the utility of these diagnostic techniques in testing decompression dive profiles was evaluated. Eleven divers completed two series of chamber dives according to the decompression schedule of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. The first dive series comprised dives to 70 feet of seawater (fsw) for 15, 29, and 40 min. The second series comprised maximum duration no-stop decompression dives to 40 fsw for 140 min, 70 fsw for 40 min, 90 fsw for 25 min, and 120 fsw for 13 min. Before and immediately after each dive, the following measurements were obtained from each subject: eye surface tear film bubble counts with a slit-lamp microscope, lens and vitreous humor reflectivity using A- and B-mode ophthalmic ultrasonic scan, and precordial Doppler ultrasonic detection of venous gas bubbles. Tear film bubble assessment and ocular scanning ultrasound were observed to be more sensitive in detecting decompression stress than the conventional Doppler ultrasonic surveillance of the precordial region. In contrast to precordial Doppler ultrasonic surveillance, which failed to detect any significant changes in circulating bubbles, tear film bubble formation displayed a dose-response relationship with increasing duration of the 70-fsw dives. Reflectivity changes of the lens-vitreous humor interface were not significant until the no-stop decompression limit was reached. In addition, for each of the no-stop decompression limit dives, increases in the average tear film bubble formation and lens-vitreous humor interface reflectivity were similar. Ocular bubble observations may provide a practical and objective ocular bubble index for analyzing existing decompression schedules and predicting individual susceptibility to decompression sickness.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: PMID: 9883487
http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/2299
Date: 1998

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