Chapter 168. Decompression Sickness

  1. Robert P. Lisak MD, FAAN, FRCP Parker Webber Chair Professor Chair Neurologist-in-Chief Chief3,4,
  2. Daniel D. Truong MD, FAAN Head5,
  3. William M. Carroll MBBS, MD, FRACP, FRCP(E) Head6 and
  4. Roongroj Bhidayasiri MD, FRCP Director7,8
  1. Leon D. Prockop MD Founding Chairman Emeritus Professor Chair1,2

Published Online: 18 MAY 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444317008.ch168

International Neurology: A Clinical Approach

International Neurology: A Clinical Approach

How to Cite

Prockop, L. D. (2009) Decompression Sickness, in International Neurology: A Clinical Approach (eds R. P. Lisak, D. D. Truong, W. M. Carroll and R. Bhidayasiri), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444317008.ch168

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA

  2. 4

    Detroit Medical Center, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA

  3. 5

    The Parkinson and Movement Disorder Institute, Memorial Neuroscience Institute, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley, CA, USA

  4. 6

    Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Perth, Australia

  5. 7

    Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Movement Disorders Center, Chulalongkorn University Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

  6. 8

    University of California at Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Neurology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

  2. 2

    Environmental Neurology Research Group (ENRG)/World Federation of Neurology (WFN), USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAY 2010
  2. Published Print: 11 SEP 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405157384

Online ISBN: 9781444317008



  • decompression sickness;
  • formation of bubbles from inert gases - through scuba diving, caisson work, flying, and simulated altitude ascents, rapid reduction in ambient pressure;
  • Boyle's Law control - relationship between pressure and volume;
  • arterial gas embolism (AGE) and decompression sickness (DCS);
  • DCS manifestations, including limb pain, itching and skin markings;
  • DCS incidence in divers - between 1% and 30%;
  • DCS manifestations, neurologic symptoms and signs, as medical emergency;
  • Divers Alert Network - a 24-hour hotline


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Epidemiology

  • Further reading