Water Immersion Shows Little Benefit in Preeclampsia

Diastolic blood pressure and total peripheral resistance decline, but return to baseline in two hours

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Water immersion provides little therapeutic benefit for women with preeclampsia, according to a new report in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Ayten Elvan-Taspinar, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated the effects of three hours of thermoneutral water immersion on the central and peripheral hemodynamics of seven women with preeclampsia, seven pregnant women without this condition and seven non-pregnant women.

Water immersion did result in increased cardiac output and reduced heart rate, diastolic blood pressure and total peripheral resistance, but the results were limited and transient. Systolic blood pressure remained unchanged in all groups. Even with the decline, total peripheral resistance remained higher in women with preeclampsia than their normotensive counterparts. Most changes returned to baseline within two hours.

"Altogether, it is unlikely that water immersion is useful as a therapeutic modality in preeclampsia," the researchers conclude.

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