Tag Archives: barotrauma

Chest 102; Cetoscarus

19 Dec



Chest 102; Cetoscarus



I have been tiring of the dark, sometimes sinister images that have been emerging from my stable. This picture was part of a determination to make something more cheerful and in keeping with the spirit of the season.

For my base image, from which the shapes were taken, I used a photo taken at Dale Chihuly’s glass art exhibition in Boston. Those shapes were blended with sunlight reflected onto a screen from a glassy surface which produced interesting shapes. The two sets of shapes interact to produce a conflicting pattern, stable, yet ever changing like waving underwater seaweed. In the centre a fishy shape can be seen blending into the background. I have named the image for the parrotfish Cetoscarus which is mostly blue with pink markings – my fish is pink with blue markings – it’s chimes with the Australian habit of nicknaming redheads “Bluey”. Interestingly parrotfish species start life as females and mature in a more colourful phase to become male.

The Chest X-ray is much fragmented and adds to the network of lines already present in the image. It comes from a person with barotrauma during a diving accident. As the diver ascended from a depth more rapidly than he should, the change in pressure inside the lungs caused the little alveoli to expand till they burst like tiny balloons. This lead to a pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity compressing the lung) and embolism of air into the heart and blood vessels.

One of the problems with accessing teaching file X-rays for this series of pictures is that the outcome of the case is seldom available because interpretation of the image is considered most important part of the teaching. It would be nice to know whether this patient survived and what treatment was given.

Since we’re so close to the festive season I wish my blogging friends Very Merry Christmas or, as they say in the U S of A, “Happy Holidays!”

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