Brown-Séquard syndrome: a rare manifestation of decompression sickness

Occup Med (Lond). 2015 Dec;65(9):758-60. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqv145. Epub 2015 Sep 23.


Neurological decompression sickness (DCS) is a rare condition that commonly leads to spinal cord injury. We report the case of a 30-year-old man who developed left-sided weakness and numbness after diving to a maximum depth of 15 m with a total dive time of 205min (10 repetitive dives). To the best of our knowledge, only six cases diagnosed as Brown-Séquard syndrome caused by DCS have been reported in the literature. Divers should be aware of the risk factors of DCS before diving and clinicians should make the diagnosis of spinal cord DCS based primarily on clinical symptoms, not on magnetic resonance imaging findings.

Keywords: Brown-Séquard syndrome; decompression sickness; diving; hyperbaric oxygen..

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / etiology
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome / therapy
  • Construction Industry*
  • Decompression Sickness / complications
  • Decompression Sickness / diagnosis*
  • Decompression Sickness / physiopathology
  • Decompression Sickness / therapy
  • Diving / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors