Perfluorocarbons (PFC) are fluorinated hydrocarbons that dissolve gases to a much greater degree than plasma and hold promise in treating decompression sickness (DCS). The efficacy of PFC in a mixed gender model of DCS and safety in recompression therapy has not been previously explored. Swine (25 kg; N = 104; 51 male and 53 female) were randomized into normal saline solution (NSS) or PFC emulsion treatment groups and subjected to compression on air in a hyperbaric chamber at 200 fsw for 31 min. Then the animals were decompressed and observed for signs of DCS. Afterwards, they were treated with oxygen and either PFC (4 cc · kg-1) or NSS (4 cc · kg-1). Surviving animals were observed for 4 h, at which time they underwent recompression therapy using a standard Navy Treatment Table 6. After 24 h the animals were assessed and then euthanized. Survival rates were not significantly different between NSS (74.04%) and PFC (66.67%) treatment groups. All swine that received recompression treatment survived to the end of the study and no seizures were observed in either PFC or NSS animals. Within the saline treated swine group there were no significant differences in DCS survival between male (75.00%, N = 24) and female (73.08%, N = 26) swine. Within the PFC treated swine, survival of females (51.85%, N = 27) was significantly lower than males (81.48%, N = 27). In this large animal mixed gender efficacy study in DCS, PFC did not improve mortality or spinal cord injury, but appears safe during recompressive therapy. Gender differences in DCS treatment with PFC will need further study.Cronin WA, Hall AA, Auker CR, Mahon RT. Perfluorocarbon in delayed recompression with a mixed gender swine model of decompression sickness. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2018; 89(1):14-18.
Cronin, Hall, Auker, Mahon (2018). Perfluorocarbon in Delayed Recompression with a Mixed Gender Swine Model of Decompression Sickness. Aerospace medicine and human performance, 2018 Jan;89(1):14-18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29233239