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Pulmonary Aspects of Exercise and Sports


Alfred A. Bove

Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
About Alfred A.
M.D., Ph.D.
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Although the lungs are a critical component of exercise performance, their response to exercise and other environmental stresses is often overlooked when evaluating pulmonary performance during high workloads. Exercise can produce capillary leakage, particularly when left atrial pressure increases related to left ventricular (LV) systolic or diastolic failure. Diastolic LV dysfunction that results in elevated left atrial pressure during exercise is particularly likely to result in pulmonary edema and capillary hemorrhage. Data from race horses, endurance athletes, and triathletes support the concept that the lungs can react to exercise and immersion stress with pulmonary edema and pulmonary hemorrhage. Immersion in water by swimmers and divers can also increase stress on pulmonary capillaries and result in pulmonary edema. Swimming-induced pulmonary edema and immersion pulmonary edema in scuba divers are well-documented events caused by the fluid shifts that occur with immersion, elevated pulmonary venous pressure during extreme exercise, and negative alveolar pressure due to inhalation resistance. Prevention strategies include avoiding extreme exercise, avoiding over hydration, and assuring that inspiratory resistance is minimized.

How to Cite: 1. Bove AA. Pulmonary Aspects of Exercise and Sports. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. 2016;12(2):93-97. DOI:
Published on 01 Apr 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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