Internal carotid artery dissection in stroke from SCUBA diving: a case report.
Although diving with compressed air is generally safe, neurological problems resulting from infarction in SCUBA diving are well known, including arterial gas embolism and decompression sickness (caisson's disease, bends) involving the brain and spinal cord. While air gas embolism forms the overwhelming majority of causes for stroke in divers, internal carotid artery (ICA) dissection is another potential mechanism for central nervous system infarction in the setting of SCUBA diving. A 38 year-old female, who presented with complaints of headache, nausea, vomiting, and left sided hemiparesis after rapid ascent to the surface from a depth of 120 feet of seawater was initially treated for decompression illness in a hyperbaric chamber. Further neurological workup revealed a right ICA dissection. This case demonstrates the dangers of ICA dissection following rapid ascent to the surface from underwater and emphasizes an interesting presentation of stroke associated with SCUBA diving.
Gibbs, JW; Piantadosi, CA; Massey, EW
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