Ultrasound lung comets induced by repeated breath-hold diving, a study in underwater fishermen

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Pulmonary edema has been reported in breath-hold divers during fish-catching diving activity. The present study was designed to detect possible increases in extravascular lung water (EVLW) in underwater fishermen after a competition. Thirty healthy subjects were studied. They participated in two different 5-h fish-catching diving competitions: one organized in the winter (10 subjects) and one organized in the autumn (20 subjects). A questionnaire was used to record underwater activity and note respiratory problems. An increase in EVLW was investigated from the detection of ultrasound lung comets (ULC) by chest ultrasonography. Complementary investigations included echocardiography and pulmonary function testing. An increase in EVLW was detected in three out of 30 underwater fishermen after the competition. No signs of cardiovascular dysfunction were found in the entire population and in divers with an increase in the ULC score. Two divers with raised ULC presented respiratory disorders such as cough or shortness of breath. Impairment in spirometric parameters was recorded in these subjects. An increase in EVLW could be observed after a fish-catching diving competition in three out of 30 underwater fishermen. In two subjects, it was related to respiratory disorders and impairment in pulmonary flow.

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