Med Sci Sports Exerc.2014 Sep 12.
Peacher DF1,Martina SD,Otteni CE,Wester TE,Potter JF,Moon RE.
PURPOSE: Immersion pulmonary edema occurs in swimmers (especially triathletes) and scuba divers. Its pathophysiology and risk factors are incompletely understood. This study was designed to establish the prevalence of pre-existing comorbidities in individuals who experience immersion pulmonary edema. METHODS: From 2008 to May 2010, individuals who had experienced immersion pulmonary edema were identified via recruitment for a physiological study. Past medical history and subject characteristics were compared with those available in the current body of literature. RESULTS: At Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 36 subjects were identified (mean age 48.4 ± 9.1 years), of whom 72.2% had one or more significant medical conditions at the time of IPE incident (e.g., hypertension, cardiac dysrhythmias or structural abnormality or dysfunction, asthma, diabetes mellitus, overweight or obesity, obstructive sleepapnea, hypothyroidism). Forty-five articles were included, containing 292 cases of IPE, of which 24.0% had identifiable cardiopulmonary risk factors. Within the recreational population, cases with identifiable risk factors comprised 44.9%. Mean age was 47.8 ± 11.3 in recreational divers/swimmers and 23.3 ± 6.4 years in military divers/swimmers. CONCLUSION: Cardiopulmonary disease may be a common predisposing factor in immersion pulmonary edema in the recreational swimming/divingpopulation, while pulmonary hypertension due to extreme exertion may be more important in military cases. Individuals with past history of immersion pulmonary edema in our case series had a greater proportion of comorbidities compared to published cases. The role of underlying cardiopulmonary dysfunction may be underestimated, especially in older swimmers and divers. We conclude that an episode of immersion pulmonary edema should prompt evaluation of cardiac and pulmonary function.