[abstract] MECHANISM OF SPINAL DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: MECHANICS OF THE CORD

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[abstract] MECHANISM OF SPINAL DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: MECHANICS OF THE CORD

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Title: [abstract] MECHANISM OF SPINAL DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS: MECHANICS OF THE CORD
Author: Hills, BA; James, PB
Abstract: In the preceding paper, the clinical symptoms emphasize the remarkable adjacency of cord segments involved - axially or transversely - but never randomly as predicted by theories of infarction or individual autochthonous bubbles. This suggests an essentially mechanical progression of gas within the cord. Our mechanical studies of the spinal cords of ten dogs, have revealed that (a) the pia mater has low compliance - longitudinally and circumferentially - as does the dura, (b) convolutions of the pia do not unfold to allow significant volume expansion when pressures up to 100 torr are applied within, (c) large capillary heads can be generated between cylinders of the dimensions of nerve fibres and (d) local pressures of up to 70 torr can be generated by air injection before these are dissipated by air tracking along or around the cord. These results and the clinical evidence lead us to postulate that spinal DCS arises from gas derived upon decompression in the fatty white matter. This gas arises in individual nerve fibres and extends vertically within the neurilemma in its effort to grow and expand within an effectively rigid outer casing (the pia). The resistance to this progression afforded by capillarity, etc., causes the local hydrostatic pressure to exceed the blood pressure in arterioles penetrating the pia, causing local ischaemia. This is another example of a physiological "waterfall" only a double waterfall with the pia and dura as the "sills" and CSF as the "lake" between them.
Description: Abstract of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. Annual Scientific Meeting held May 25-29, 1981. The Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California (http:www.uhms.org)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/4885
Date: 1981

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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