A 52-year-old Japanese male professional diver was referred to our hospital for decompression illness (DCI). After 1 h of diving operation at 20 m below sea level, he complained of dyspnea, chest pain, and abdominal pain. He dove again, intending to ease the symptoms, but the symptoms were never relieved. He dove for a total of 4 h. No neurological abnormalities were observed. Computed tomography images revealed portal venous gas and mesenteric venous gas, in addition to bubbles in the femoral veins, pelvis, lumbar canal, intracranial sinuses, and joints. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was immediately administered. His symptoms improved after the first course of HBOT, however, the patient had anuria for almost 36 h after admission and exhibited acute kidney injury (AKI). Serum creatinine and creatine kinase (CK) levels were increased to maximal values of 6.16 mg/dL and 18,963 U/L, respectively. Blood flow signals were not detected on kidney Doppler ultrasound. We considered that AKI was caused by blood flow impairment and capillary leak syndrome due to DCI in addition to rhabdomyolysis secondary to arterial gas embolism in the skeletal muscles. Temporary dialysis was required to correct the acidemia and electrolyte disturbance. Diuretic phase was initiated, and the patient was put off dialysis on day 3. Serum creatinine and CK levels returned to normal on day 11. He was successfully treated without any complications. Although AKI is a rare manifestation, we should consider AKI risk in patients with severe DCI.
Acute kidney injury Arterial gas embolism Decompression illness Decompression sickness
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