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The pathway to drive decompression microbubbles from (...)

Undersea Hyperb Med. 2009 Jul-Aug ;36(4):223-36
The pathway to drive decompression microbubbles from the tissues to the blood and the lymphatic system as a part of this transfer.
Hugon J, Barthelemy L, Rostain JC, Gardette B.

The formation sites of the microbubbles that are routinely detected in the bloodstream at precordial level by Doppler after a decompression are reviewed and discussed here. First, microbubbles could form on the endothelium lumen wall of the capillaries, at specific nanometric sites, but the release mechanism of such small emerging entities remains puzzling. They could be also formed from pre-existing gas nuclei present in the blood when favorable local hydrodynamic/supersaturation conditions generate microcavitation and tribonucleation phenomena. Finally, tissues could represent large pools for microbubble formation and amplification. Nevertheless, it remains to explain what the potential pathways are to drive them to the blood. Knowing that the permeability of most of the blood capillary network is quite low, an alternative is proposed for such transport. The lymphatic system, which drains the interstitial fluid to guarantee the fluid balance of tissues, could allow the transfer of micrometric elements like stabilized microbubbles formed in tissues on long distances. A final rejection in the bloodstream at the termination of both right lymphatic and thoracic ducts can be expected. The characteristics of this slow transport, activated by the muscular pump, could explain the detection on long periods of massive venous gas emboli.


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