Hyperbaric chamber-related decompression illness in a patient with asymptomatic pulmonary sarcoidosis

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1999 Jun;70(6):594-7.


An asymptomatic 46-yr-old male sustained an acute neurologic insult, appearing during the decompression phase of a 50-m dry hyperbaric chamber dive. The right hemisyndrome was most probably related to diving, since symptoms responded rapidly to the early commenced recompression therapy. Further diagnostics revealed a previously unknown pulmonary sarcoidosis with bilateral pulmonary opacities and pleural adhesions that might have predisposed to arterial gas embolism secondary to pulmonary barotrauma. This case may illustrate a potential risk of decompression illness even during dry chamber dives in patients suffering from asymptomatic pleuro-parenchymal pulmonary disease. The value of chest X-ray in the medical assessment of fitness to dive is therefore emphasized.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Causality
  • Cerebellar Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Diseases / etiology*
  • Decompression Sickness / diagnosis
  • Decompression Sickness / etiology*
  • Diving / adverse effects*
  • Embolism, Air / diagnosis
  • Embolism, Air / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / adverse effects*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Spirometry
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed