Saturday, January 07, 2006

EEG & MRI in Neurological DCS, Abstract from UHM 2005: VOL 32, ISSUE #6

Electroencephalography and magnetic resonance imaging in neurological decompression sickness.

M. Gronning, J. Risberg,, H. Skeidsvoll, G. Moen, L.Aanderud, K. Troland, E. Sundal , E. Thorsen

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of electroencephalography (EEG)and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)in the clinical evaluation of acute decompression sickness(DCS)in the central nervous system (CNS). Twenty-one patients treated because of acute DCS in the CNS during 1999-2001 were included,15 patients with clinical cerebral DCS and five with clinical spinal cord DCS. Seven patients had abnormalities in their EEG, five with a cerebral DCS and two with spinal cord DCS.

MRI showed high intensity lesions in the spinal cord in four patients with clinical spinal cord DCS and in one with clinical cerebral DCS. Cerebral lesions were not identi fied by MRI in any patient. In conclusion,EEG showed unspecific abnormalities in only one third of the cases. Conventional MRI with a 1.5 T scanner may be of help in the diagnosis of DCS in the spinal cord, but not in the brain. EEG and MRI have low sensitivity in the diagnosis of acute DCS in the CNS. Recompression treatment of DCS should still be guided by clinical neurological examination and assessment of symptoms.

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