Probabilistic pharmacokinetic models of decompression sickness in humans, part 1: Coupled perfusion-limited compartments.
Decompression sickness (DCS) is a disease caused by gas bubbles forming in body tissues following a reduction in ambient pressure, such as occurs in scuba diving. Probabilistic models for quantifying the risk of DCS are typically composed of a collection of independent, perfusion-limited theoretical tissue compartments which describe gas content or bubble volume within these compartments. It has been previously shown that 'pharmacokinetic' gas content models, with compartments coupled in series, show promise as predictors of the incidence of DCS. The mechanism of coupling can be through perfusion or diffusion. This work examines the application of five novel pharmacokinetic structures with compartments coupled by perfusion to the prediction of the probability and time of onset of DCS in humans. We optimize these models against a training set of human dive trial data consisting of 4335 exposures with 223 DCS cases. Further, we examine the extrapolation quality of the models on an additional set of human dive trial data consisting of 3140 exposures with 147 DCS cases. We find that pharmacokinetic models describe the incidence of DCS for single air bounce dives better than a single-compartment, perfusion-limited model. We further find the U.S. Navy LEM-NMRI98 is a better predictor of DCS risk for the entire training set than any of our pharmacokinetic models. However, one of the pharmacokinetic models we consider, the CS2T3 model, is a better predictor of DCS risk for single air bounce dives and oxygen decompression dives. Additionally, we find that LEM-NMRI98 outperforms CS2T3 on the extrapolation data.
Murphy, FG; Hada, EA; Doolette, DJ; Howle, LE
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