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A study on change in ejection fraction during simulated diving in humans

Anjusha I B, Riyanka Chail.


Background: It has been observed that complex cardiovascular changes including cardiac rhythm and conduction occur during simulated diving in humans. As the study requires technical expertise, not many studies are conducted in this field. Two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography is a feasible method to study the cardiovascular changes during breath-hold immersion of the face in water. There is well-documented evidence for changes in left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic volume, stroke volume, and cardiac output. LV ejection fraction (LV EF) which is an important cardiac parameter that determines the amount of oxygenated blood each organ receives has not gained much attention. Hence, the present study was focused on the changes in LV EF with breath-hold immersion of the face in water.

Aims and Objective: The objective of the study is to observe the change in LV EF during breath-hold immersion of the face in water using 2D echocardiography.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in 15 male swimmers of age group 25–35 years, who are used to active breath-hold swimming.

Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in LV EF during breath-hold immersion of the face in water.

Conclusion: Cardiovascular changes during breath-hold immersion of the face in water are important as a majority of our population is involved with water-related activities for leisure, sports, or livelihood. The change in the cardiac parameter, LV EF, can be extrapolated to the case of actual swimming.

Key words: Simulated Diving; Ejection Fraction; Breath-Hold Immersion; Echocardiograph

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