Water immersion model in nephrology: from hydrotherapy to weightlessness


The term immersion connotes a wide range of different procedures ranging from whole body immersion to head-out water immersion carried out utilizing diverse body postures and water temperatures. Though hydrotherapy has been used for centuries, it was the space program in the sixties of the twentieth century, which gave a new impetus to this procedure as an nonaggressive investigative tool, which has been used in studding the influence of weightlessness on hemodynamic, metabolic, hormonal and nervous system. It was possible because water immersion mimics the weightless state on earth.

During the next years head-out immersion model was used by scientists to investigate function and pathophysiology of cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys. After recognition that water immersion induces diuresis and natriuresis, the procedure has been used to study and to treat the disorders characterized by impaired volume homeostasis, as decompensated liver disease, nephrotic syndrome, essential hypertension, cardiac transplantation, diabetes, primary aldosteronism and pheochromocytoma.

Between investigative groups, which contributed the most in studies with using head-out water immersion model there are teams of M. Epstein (Miami, USA), J.E. Greenleaf (USA), P. Norsk (Denmark), A. Koomans (Utrecht, The Netherlands) and F. Kokot (Katowice, Poland).

Keywords: water immersion, nephrology, hydrotherapy

Ci spiace, ma questo articolo è disponibile soltanto in Inglese Americano.