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Desbaric air embolism during diving: an unusual complication of Osler-Weber-Rendu disease
  1. Y-L Hsu1,
  2. H-C Wang2,
  3. P-C Yang2
  1. 1Far-Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Yeong-Long Hsu
 Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, 2F, No. 25, Lane 461, Chi-Lin Road, Taipei 104, Taiwan;


Cerebral manifestations of Osler-Weber-Rendu disease (OWRD, hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia) including telangiectases, venous malformations, and arteriovenous malformations, are usually under-recognised. The highest complication rate is observed in high flow cerebral arteriovenous malformations, which may present with headache, epilepsy, ischaemia, or haemorrhage. Cerebral air embolism during self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) diving as the first manifestation of pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM) in OWRD patients has never been reported before. Here we report a 31 year old male who presented desbaric air embolism as the first manifestation of PAVM. As far as we know, this is the first such case published in English medical literature.

  • OWRD, Osler-Weber-Rendu disease
  • PAVM, pulmonary arteriovenous malformation
  • scuba, self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
  • desbaric air embolism
  • diving
  • Osler-Weber-Rendu disease
  • pulmonary arteriovenous malformation
  • trans-arterial embolisation

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  • Conflict of interest: none declared.

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