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Evaporative heat loss insufficient to attain heat balance at rest in individuals with a spinal cord injury at high ambient temperature

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2019, 08:10 authored by Katy Griggs, George HavenithGeorge Havenith, Michael J Price, Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

The aim of the study was to determine whether climatic limits for achieving heat balance at rest are affected by spinal cord injury (SCI). Twenty-three males (8 able-bodied (AB), 8 with paraplegia (PP) and 7 with tetraplegia (TP)) rested in 37°C and 20% relative humidity (RH) for 20 mins. With the ambient temperature held constant, RH was increased by 5% every 7 mins, until gastrointestinal temperature (Tgi) showed a clear inflection or increased by >1°C. Tgi, skin temperatures, perceptual responses and metabolic energy expenditure were measured throughout. Metabolic heat production (AB: 123 (21) W, PP: 111 (15) W, TP: 103 (29) W) and required rate of evaporative cooling for heat balance (Ereq, AB: 113 (20) W, PP: 107 (17) W, TP: 106 (29) W) were similar between groups (p = 0.22 and p = 0.79). Compared to AB, greater increases in Tgi were observed in TP (p = 0.01), with notable increases in mean skin temperature (Tsk) for TP and PP (p = 0.01). A Tgi inflection point was demonstrated by 7 AB, only 3 out of 8 PP and none of TP. Despite metabolic heat production (and Ereq) being similar between groups evaporative heat loss was not large enough to obtain heat balance in TP, linked to a shortfall in evaporative cooling potential. Although PP possess a greater sweating capacity, the continual increase in Tgi and Tsk, in most PP, while lower than for TP, implies that latent heat loss for PP is also insufficient to attain heat balance.

Funding

Peter Harrison Foundation

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Applied Physiology

Volume

127

Issue

4

Pages

995 - 1004

Publisher

American Physiological Society

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© the American Physiological Society

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Applied Physiology and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00893.2018.

Acceptance date

08/08/2019

Publication date

2019-10-01

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

8750-7587

eISSN

1522-1601

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Vicky Tolfrey