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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 December;44(4):342-8

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exercise induced arterial hypoxemia in swimmers

Spanoudaki S. S. 1, Maridaki M. D. 2, Myrianthefs P. M. 3, Baltopoulos P. J. 1

1 Division of Sports Medicine and Biology of Exercise Laboratory of Functional Anatomy TEFAA University of Athens, Dafni, Greece 2 Laboratory of Exercise Physiology TEFAA University of Athens, Dafni, Greece 3 School of Nursing Intensive Care Unit, KAT Hospital University of Athens, Athens, Greece


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Aim. Exercise ­induced arte­ri­al hypox­e­mia (­EIAH) is a reduc­tion in arte­ri­al oxy­gen­a­tion, ­which may ­result ­from a ­drop in arte­ri­al oxy­gen pres­sure and there­fore in oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion. We exam­ined ­EIAH in swim­mers, ­while ­till now it was ­known to ­occur in ­cyclists and run­ners.
Methods. We stud­ied 8 ­male high­ly ­trained swim­mers (age: 23±1.7; V.O2peak, 5.3±0.1 l/min and 8 ­male ex-swim­mers (age: 21.5±0.6; V.O2peak, 3.4±0.3 l/min). All sub­jects per­formed 200-­meter free­style at max­i­mum ­effort. Hemoglobin sat­u­ra­tion (SaO2%) was meas­ured ­using a fin­ger ­pulse oxim­e­ter ­before exer­cise in the ­water in an ­upright posi­tion and imme­di­ate­ly ­after exer­cise, with­in 5 sec­onds.
Results. Highly ­trained swim­mers devel­oped a sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant ­decrease in SaO2% (­from 98.3±0.3 to 94±0.9, p≤0.01) ­after exer­cise, ­while ex-swim­mers did not (­from 98.4±0.3 to 96.8±0.3 ns). The 4% ­decrease in SaO2% ­observed in high­ly ­trained swim­mers can be char­ac­ter­ized as ­mild ­EIAH.
Conclusion. Our ­study sug­gests ­that high­ly ­trained swim­mers but not ex-swim­mers may devel­op ­mild ­EIAH ­after 200 ­meters free­style swim­ming at max­i­mum ­effort.

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