Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objectives. To report three cases of triathletes who presented with swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE) following water immersion. They were subsequently diagnosed with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM). Design. Retrospective case series. Method. All cases were recreational athletes competing in mass participation triathlons between June 2018 and 2019. They were initially managed by the event medical team and subsequently at the local tertiary level hospital. Written consent was gained from all the subjects. Results. The three triathletes were aged between 50 and 60 years, two were females, and all presented with acute dyspnoea on exiting the water. Two also presented with chest pain and haemoptysis. A diagnosis of SIPE was suspected by the medical event team on initial presentation of low oxygen saturations and clinical signs of pulmonary oedema. All were transferred to the local emergency department and had signs of pulmonary oedema on chest radiographs. Further investigations led to a diagnosis of TCM with findings of T wave inversion in anterolateral electrocardiogram leads and apical hypokinesia on transthoracic echocardiogram and unobstructed coronary arteries. Conclusions. This case series presents triathletes diagnosed with SIPE and TCM following the open water swim phase. It is unclear whether the myocardial dysfunction contributed to causation of SIPE or was the result of SIPE. Mass participation race organizers must be prepared that both SIPE and TCM can present in this population. Those presenting with an episode of SIPE require prompt evaluation of their cardiac and pulmonary physiology. Further research is required to ascertain the exact nature of the relationship between TCM and SIPE.

Original publication




Journal article


Translational Sports Medicine

Publication Date