Vol 49, No 1 (2015)
Review Article

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Neurological complications of underwater diving

Justyna Rosińska1, Maria Łukasik1, Wojciech Kozubski1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2014.11.004
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2015;49(1):45-51.


The diver's nervous system is extremely sensitive to high ambient pressure, which is the sum of atmospheric and hydrostatic pressure. Neurological complications associated with diving are a difficult diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. They occur in both commercial and recreational diving and are connected with increasing interest in the sport of diving. Hence it is very important to know the possible complications associated with this kind of sport. Complications of the nervous system may result from decompression sickness, pulmonary barotrauma associated with cerebral arterial air embolism (AGE), otic and sinus barotrauma, high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS) and undesirable effect of gases used for breathing. The purpose of this review is to discuss the range of neurological symptoms that can occur during diving accidents and also the role of patent foramen ovale (PFO) and internal carotid artery (ICA) dissection in pathogenesis of stroke in divers.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska