High-frequency sound transmissions under water and risk of decompression sickness

Avi Shupak, Hillel Pratt, Yehuda Arieli, Dror Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We tested the possible occurrence of a neurological insult secondary to high-frequency sound exposure. Immersed, anesthetized rats were subjected to a simulated diving profile designed to induce decompression sickness, while exposed to the transmission of an acoustic beacon. Intermittent sound at a pressure level of 184.5 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m (1.7 kPa), a frequency of 37 kHz, and with a duration of 4 ms, was transmitted in a duty cycle of 0.26%. Four groups, each containing nine animals, were included in the study as follows: group 1, immersion only, no sound exposure; group 2, immersion with sound exposure; group 3, diving simulation when immersed, no sound exposure; group 4, diving simulation when immersed, with sound exposure. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) were recorded the day before the study, and a second recording was made 30 min after immersion. Some of the SSEP components disappeared after the dive in 3 rats from group 3 and 2 rats from group 4. SSEP components could not be identified in a significantly larger number of animals from groups 3 and 4, compared with groups 1 and 2. No differences were found in wave latency, amplitude or conduction time. Our data show that the high-frequency sound exposure employed did not contribute to the development of the neurological insult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Diving
  • Gas bubble
  • Rectified diffusion
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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