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Lancet. 1989 Dec 2;2(8675):1302-6.

Relation between interatrial shunts and decompression sickness in divers.

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Department of Cardiology, St Thomas' Hospital, London.


The prevalence of right-to-left interatrial shunts was determined by contrast echocardiography in a blind comparison of 61 divers who had had decompression sickness, divided into four predetermined clinical subgroups, and a control group of 63 who had not. The prevalence of shunt was 15/63 in the controls and did not differ significantly in 24 divers with onset of neurological symptoms more than 30 minutes after surfacing (4/24) or 6 with joint pain only (1/6). In divers who had neurological symptoms within 30 minutes of surfacing the prevalence of shunt was 19/29, significantly higher. Rashes soon after surfacing were related to shunts but late rashes were not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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