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Patent foramen ovale may be a risk factor for developing some forms of decompression sickness Venous nitrogen bubbles are thought to evade the pulmonary filter by passing through these intracardiac shunts and to form emboli, which enlarge to cause symptoms. Should potential and current divers be screened for the presence of a patent foramen ovale, and if one is found should they be prevented from diving?
Subjects, methods, and results
Seventy eight subaqua divers who had not had any form of decompression sickness were examined by contrast echocardiography.
Microbubble contrast was generated in 8-10 ml of agitated normal saline by the two syringe and three way tap method. This contrast medium was injected rapidly into a right antecubital vein while an apical four chamber …