Swimming may present some unique cardiopulmonary physiologic challenges. Water immersion results in compressive forces on the body and increases pressure on the peripheral capacitance vessels. This results in central redistribution of blood volume into the thoracic cavity with increased venous return and biventricular preload.
This redistribution, further exacerbated by the compressive forces of tightly fitting neoprene wetsuits which are common place among triathletes, can be hemodynamically significant with attendant increases in central venous pressure by 12-18mmHg and stroke volume by greater than 25% during water immersion at rest.
Swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), also known as immersion pulmonary edema, is a form of pulmonary edema that occurs during water sport activity in young, otherwise healthy individuals. SIPE is a form of hemodynamic pulmonary edema caused by an exaggerated increase in pulmonary vascular pressures in response to immersion in water, intense physical activity and host factors.
Keyword: swimming induced pulmonary edema.