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Dysbaric Osteonecrosis Screening in Turkish Navy Divers

Authors: Uzun, Gunalp; Toklu, Akin Savas; Yildiz, Senol; Sonmez, Guner; Aktaş, Şamil; Sezer, Hakan; Mutlu, Hakan; Cimşit, Maide

Source: Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, Volume 79, Number 1, January , 2008 , pp. 44-46(3)

Publisher: Aerospace Medical Association

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Uzun G, Toklu AS, Yildiz S, Sonmez G, Aktaş Ş, Sezer H, Mutlu H, Cimşit M. Dysbaric osteonecrosis screening in Turkish Navy divers. Aviat Space Environ Med 2008; 79:44–6.

Introduction: Dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) is regarded as an occupational disease for caisson workers, commercial, and military divers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was suggested for the surveillance of military divers for DON. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of DON in Turkish Navy divers. Methods: The shoulder, hip, and knee joints of 106 male divers were screened for DON with MRI. A questionnaire was used to obtain information about subjects’ medical history and diving experience. Results: The mean age of divers was 34.3 ± 5.8 yr. The divers had spent an average of 12.1 ± 6.1 yr at their occupation. The average of total hours of diving was 834 ± 458 h. The maximum diving depth was 53.0 ± 18.4 m (175 ± 61 ft) and the average diving depth was 13.3 ± 8.4 m (44 ± 28 ft). MRI examinations of divers did not reveal bone lesions consistent with osteonecrosis. Discussion: We concluded that the risk of DON is very low for military divers who strictly obey the decompression rules and who undergo periodic medical examination. The use of MRI for routine screening of military divers is not justified.

Keywords: diving; dysbaric osteonecrosis; magnetic resonance imaging; military diver

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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