Decompression sickness in the goat: nature of brain and spinal cord lesions at 48 hours

Undersea Biomed Res. 1978 Sep;5(3):275-86.


An investigation was undertaken to determine whether permanent damage to the central nervous system (CNS) is associated with transient decompression sickness in the goat. Twelve goats were compressed in air at 100 fsw for one hour. After decompression over a period of 2.5 min, seven animals showed signs of decompression sickness and four of these were treated by recompression in oxygen. Residual clinical signs after 12 h were present in one animal only. The seven affected goats were killed 48 h after decompression. Lesions in the CNS (other than hemorrhage) were confined to the spinal cord of three animals that had shown paralysis, and consisted of infarction of white matter with occasional microthrombi and perivascular proteinaceous edema of the gray matter. In all seven animals, there was hemorrhage in the spinal cord and in four, hemorrhage in the brain. Infarction of the spinal cord was not present in the four animals that had shown only slight clinical signs (limping); one of these goats had been treated by recompression in oxygen.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Decompression Sickness / complications
  • Decompression Sickness / pathology*
  • Female
  • Goats / anatomy & histology*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Infarction / etiology
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / etiology
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Time Factors