Cold-induced pulmonary oedema in scuba divers and swimmers and subsequent development of hypertension

Lancet. 1989 Jan 14;1(8629):62-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)91426-8.


The effect of cold and/or a raised partial pressure of oxygen was examined in eleven people with no demonstrable cardiac abnormality but who had pulmonary oedema when scuba diving or surface swimming, and in ten normal divers. These stimuli induced pathological vasoconstriction in the pulmonary oedema group, nine of whom also showed signs of cardiac decompensation when so stimulated. The pulmonary oedema patients have been followed-up for an average of 8 years. Seven have become hypertensive. Except for the onset of lone atrial fibrillation in one normotensive female diver and development of Raynaud's phenomenon in a normotensive man, there have been no cardiovascular events and no deaths.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Diving / adverse effects*
  • Diving / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forearm / blood supply
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*
  • Pulmonary Edema / physiopathology
  • Recurrence
  • Swimming*
  • Vascular Resistance