J. Honěk, M. Šrámek, T. Honěk, A. Tomek, L. Šefc, J. Januška, J. Fiedler, M. Horváth, Š. Novotný, M. Brabec, J. Veselka. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. 2021 Aug 12;S1936-878X(21)00509-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2021.06.019. IF: 14.805
MUDr. Jakub Honěk, Ph.D., Department of Cardiology
Objectives: This paper sought to evaluate the occurrence of decompression sickness (DCS) after the application of a patent foramen ovale (PFO) screening and risk stratification strategy.
Background: PFO is associated with an increased risk of DCS. Recently, transcatheter closure was reported to reduce DCS occurrence in divers with a high-grade shunt. However, to date, there are no data regarding the effectiveness of any PFO screening and risk stratification strategy for divers.
Methods: A total of 829 consecutive divers (35.4 ± 10.0 years, 81.5% men) were screened for PFO by means of transcranial color-coded sonography in the DIVE-PFO (Decompression Illness Prevention in Divers with a Patent Foramen Ovale) registry. Divers with a high-grade PFO were offered either catheter-based PFO closure (the closure group) or advised conservative diving (high grades). Divers with a low-grade shunt were advised conservative diving (low grades), whereas those with no PFO continued unrestricted diving (controls). A telephone follow-up was performed. To study the effect of the screening and risk stratification strategy, DCS occurrence before enrollment and during the follow-up was compared.
Results: Follow-up was available for 748 (90%) divers. Seven hundred and 2 divers continued diving and were included in the analysis (mean follow-up 6.5 ± 3.5 years). The DCS incidence decreased significantly in all groups, except the controls. During follow-up, there were no DCS events in the closure group; DCS incidence was similar to the controls in the low-grade group (HR: 3.965; 95% CI: 0.558-28.18; P = 0.169) but remained higher in the high-grade group (HR: 26.170; 95% CI: 5.797-118.16; P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: The screening and risk stratification strategy using transcranial color-coded sonography was associated with a decrease in DCS occurrence in divers with PFO. Catheter-based PFO closure was associated with a DCS occurrence similar to the controls; the conservative strategy had a similar effect in the low-grade group, but in the high-grade group the DCS incidence remained higher than in all other groups.