A study on dysbaric osteonecrosis in caisson workers.

Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc

PubMedID: 24984318

Kuang XY, Chen LJ, Li HL, Yao F, Xu JM, Huang F, Guo LJ. A study on dysbaric osteonecrosis in caisson workers. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2014;41(3):229-33.
PURPOSE
To study the effects of exposure to compressed air on tunnel workers' health and to investigate the prevalence of dysbaric osteonecrosis (DON) in caisson workers.

METHODS
128 tunnel workers were divided into the exposed group (n = 58) and the control group (n = 70), and their shoulders, hips and knees were examined with X-ray, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

RESULTS
1) 34.5% of the exposed group were diagnosed with DON based on the national diagnostic criteria of decompression sickness. 2) The incidental difference of skeletal cystic changes between the exposed group and the control group was highly statistically significant (p < 0.01). 3) CT and MRI examination could detect early onset of DON lesions, and the cystic changes shown in CT and abnormal signals in MRI were diagnostic indicators in cases.

CONCLUSION
Cystic changes in CT and abnormal signals in MRI are key imaging findings of early DON.