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Abstract #2279

Does Decompression Sickness Lead to Brain Injuries?

Marius Widere1, Marianne Havnes2, Andreas Mllerlkken2, Alf Brubakk2, Marte Thuen2

1Dep of Laboratory Medicine, Children's & Women's Health, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim, Norway; 2Dep of Circulation & Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Decompression sickness can cause neurological damage. We have investigated the brain of decompressed rats using extensive MR protocols including T2-maps, T2*-maps, manganese-enhanced MRI, dynamic enhanced MRI and DTI at several time points after decompression: 1 hour, 1 week and 2 weeks. No differences between groups was found on T2, T2*, MEMRI or DTI. DCE-MRI showed increased relative signal intensity and area under the dce-curve, indicating disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Thus, severe decompression does not seem to cause any structural or cellular injury to the brain tissue, but may cause changes in brain perfusion and integrity of the blood-brain barrier.