A Range-Gated Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic System for Detection of Bubbles in Decompression Sickness.
Medical research progress rept. no. 6,
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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A range-gated pulse-echo ultrasonic bubble detector was designed around a commercial neurological midline detector. The sensitivity of the system was tested with known numbers of glass beads suspended in water. The experimentally determined sensitivity of the device to single electrolytically produced gas bubbles was 79 - 16 log a. The clinical utility of the system for detecting decompression sickness was tested in 13 unanesthetized rabbits which had been subjected to air dives. Ten of the fourteen air dives 20 and 30 minutes at 100 PSIG with three minute linear decompression schedules were lethal. Seven of the ten showed an ultrasonic decrease of ten or more db. Three were false negatives. Evaluation of the system for use in human beings showed that a substantial bubble population lying two to four centimeters below the skin should be necessary for detection. Modified author abstract
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