Mechanism and Detection of Decompression Sickness
OCEAN SYSTEMS INC TARRYTOWN NY
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The report describes investigations of the use of ultrasound techniques for the study of mechanisms and detection of decompression sickness. The theoretical and experimental basis of through-transmission ultrasound detection of bubbles in a biological system is discussed and compared to Dobbler, pulsed-echo, and acoustic-optical imaging techniques. The course of development of decompression sickness symptoms and of visible bubbles in the circulatory system were compared to ultrasonic signal attenuation measurements for similar decompression conditions. Parameters of ultrasound signal attenuations -- time to attain an effect, rate of change to maximum effect, magnitude of maximum effect, and time to recover the original signal -- paralleled the manifestation of corresponding parameters of decompression sickness symptoms. Visible intravascular bubbles, primarily in the venous system, were found in animals exhibiting a range of decompression symptoms from mild or none to severe or death but were seldom seen after about one hour past decompression. Arterial bubbles on the other hand, were often seen in animals which died from decompression and only occasionally in animals which survived.
- Stress Physiology