2D speckle tracking echocardiography of the right ventricle free wall in SCUBA divers after single open sea dive

Zora Susilovic-Grabovac, Ante Obad, Darko Duplančić, Ivana Banić, Denise Brusoni, Piergiuseppe Agostoni, Ivica Vuković, Zeljko Dujic, Darija Bakovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence of circulating gas bubbles and their influence on pulmonary and right heart hemodynamics was reported after uncomplicated self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) dive(s). Improvements in cardiac imaging have recently focused great attention on the right ventricle (RV). The aim of our study was to evaluate possible effects of a single air SCUBA dive on RV function using 2D speckle tracking echocardiography in healthy divers after single open sea dive to 18 meters of seawater, followed by bottom stay of 47 minutes with a direct ascent to the surface. Twelve experienced male divers (age 39.5 ± 10.5 years) participated in the study. Echocardiographic assessment of the right ventricular function (free wall 2 D strain, tricuspid annular planes systolic excursion [TAPSE], lateral tricuspid annular peak systolic velocity [RV s`] and fractional area change [FAC]) was performed directly prior to and 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after surfacing. Two-dimensional strain of all three segments of free right ventricular wall showed a significant increase in longitudinal shortening in post-dive period for maximally 26% (basal), 15.4% (mid) and 16.3% (apical) as well as TAPSE (11.6%), RV FAC (19.2%), RV S` (12.7%) suggesting a rise in systolic function of right heart. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mean PAP) increased post-dive from 13.3 mmHg to maximally 23.5 mmHg (P = .002), indicating increased RV afterload. Our results demonstrated that single dive with significant bubble load lead to increase in systolic function and longitudinal strain of the right heart in parallel with increase in mean PAP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-240
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of '2D speckle tracking echocardiography of the right ventricle free wall in SCUBA divers after single open sea dive'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this