Home Bratislava Medical Journal 2022 Bratislava Medical Journal Vol.123, No.2, p.77–82, 2022

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Published Monthly, in English
Founded: 1919
ISSN 0006-9248
(E)ISSN 1336-0345

Impact factor 1.2


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Bratislava Medical Journal Vol.123, No.2, p.77–82, 2022

Title: Risk stratification of neurological decompression sickness in divers
Author: M. Sramek, J. Honek, A. Tomek, T. Ruzickova, T. Honek, L. Sefc

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a risk factor of decompression sickness (DCS). However, data on risk stratification of divers with a PFO are sparse. This study sought to evaluate the risk of neurological DCS (DCSneuro), based on the presence and grade of a right-to-left shunt (RLS).
METHODS: A total of 640 divers were screened for a RLS using TCD between 1/2006 and 4/2017. RLS was graded as low, medium, or high grade with two subgroups - after a Valsalva maneuver or at rest. Divers were questioned about their DCS history. Survival analysis techniques were used to assess risk factors for unprovoked DCS.

RESULTS: A RLS was found in 258 divers (40.3 %). 44 (17.1 %) divers with a RLS experienced DCSneuro compared to 5 (1.3 %) divers without a RLS (p <0.001). The proportion of DCSneuro increased from 4.6 % in the low-grade RLS subgroup to 57.1 % in the subgroup with high-grade RLS at rest. The hazard ratio for DCSneuro and RLS was11.806 (p <0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Divers with a RLS had a higher risk of DCSneuro and the risk increased with RLS grade. We suggest that TCD is an appropriate method for RLS screening and risk stratification in divers (Tab. 4, Fig. 2, Ref. 29).

Keywords: decompression sickness, right-to-left shunt, transcranial sonography
Published online: 23-Jan-2022
Year: 2022, Volume: 123, Issue: 2 Page From: 77, Page To: 82

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