The mechanism of cerebral decompression sickness (DCS) is still unclear. We report 2 cases of breath-hold divers with cerebral DCS in whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated distinctive characteristics. One case presented right hemiparesthesia, diplopia, and gait disturbance after breath-hold diving into the sea at a depth of 20 m. Brain MRI with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequence revealed multiple hyperintense lesions in the right frontal lobe, bilateral thalamus, pons, and right cerebellar hemisphere. The second case presented visual and gait disturbance after repetitive breath-hold diving into the sea. FLAIR imaging showed hyperintense areas in the bilateral occipito-parietal lobes. In both cases, diffusion-weighted imaging and apparent diffusion coefficient mapping revealed hyperintense areas in the lesions identified by FLAIR. Moreover, follow-up MRI showed attenuation of the FLAIR signal abnormalities. These findings are suggestive of transient hyperpermeability in the microvasculature as a possible cause of cerebral DCS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology