Spirometry and oxidative stress after rebreather diving in warm water

Gerardo Bosco, Alex Rizzato, Silvia Quartesan, Enrico Camporesi, Simona Mrakic-Sposta, Sarah Moretti, Costantino Balestra, Alessandro Rubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) therapy and use of enriched air can result in oxidative injury affecting the brain, lungs and eyes. HBO₂ exposure during diving can lead to a decrease in respiratory parameters. However, the possible effects of acute exposure to oxygen-enriched diving on subsequent spirometric performance and oxidative state in humans have not been recently described recently. We aim to investigate possible effects of acute (i) hyperbaric and (ii) hyperbaric hyperoxic exposure using scuba or closed-circuit rebreather (CCR) on subsequent spirometry and to assess the role of oxidative state after hyperoxic diving.

Methods: Spirometry and urine samples were obtained from six well-trained divers (males, mean ± SD, age: 43.33 ± 9.16 years; weight: 79.00 ± 4.90 kg; height: 1.77 ± 0.07 meters) before (CTRL) and after a dive breathing air, and after a dive using CCR (PO₂ 1.4). In the crossover design (two dives separated by six hours) each subject performed a 20-minute session of light underwater exercise at a depth of 15 meters in warm water (31-32°C). We measured urinary 8-isoprostane and 8-OH-2-deoxyguanosine evaluating lipid and DNA oxidative damages.

Results: Different breathing conditions (air vs. CCR) did not significantly affect spirometry. A significant increase of 8-OH-dG (1.85 ± 0.66 vs. 4.35 ± 2.12; P ⟨ 0.05) and 8-isoprostane (1.35 ± 0.20 vs. 2.59 ± 0.61; P ⟨ 0.05) levels after CCR dive with respect to the CTRL was observed. Subjects did not have any ill effects during diving.

Conclusions: Subjects using CCR showed elevated oxidative stress, but this did not correlate with a reduction in pulmonary function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-198
Number of pages8
JournalUndersea & Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright© Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.


  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adult
  • Air
  • Biomarkers/urine
  • DNA Damage
  • Deoxyguanosine/analogs & derivatives
  • Dinoprost/analogs & derivatives
  • Diving/physiology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation
  • Hyperoxia/physiopathology
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress/physiology
  • Oxygen/administration & dosage
  • Respiratory Mechanics/physiology
  • Spirometry


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