Thermoregulatory responses with size-matched simulated torso or limb skin grafts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Matthew N Cramer
  • M U Huang
  • Fischer, Mads
  • Gilbert Moralez
  • Craig G Crandall

Skin grafting following a burn injury attenuates/abolishes sweat production within grafted areas. It is presently unknown whether the thermoregulatory consequences of skin grafting depend on anatomical location.

Purpose: To test the hypothesis that a simulated burn injury on the torso will be no more or less detrimental to core temperature control than on the limbs during uncompensable exercise-heat stress.

Methods: Nine non-burned individuals (7 males, 2 females) completed the protocol. On separate occasions, burn injuries of identical surface area (0.45 ± 0.08 m2 or 24.4% ± 4.4% of total body surface area) were simulated on the torso or the arms/legs using an absorbent, vapor-impermeable material that impedes sweat evaporation in those regions. Participants performed 60 min of treadmill walking at 5.3 km·h-1 and a 4.1% ± 0.8% grade, targeting 6 W·kg-1 of metabolic heat production in 40.1°C ± 0.2°C and 19.6% ± 0.6% relative humidity conditions. Rectal temperature, heart rate, and perceptual responses were measured.

Results: Rectal temperature increased to a similar extent with simulated injuries on the torso and limbs (condition-by-time interaction: P = 0.86), with a final rectal temperature 0.9 ± 0.3°C above baseline in both conditions. No differences in heart rate, perceived exertion, or thermal sensation were observed between conditions (condition-by-time interactions: P ≥ 0.50).

Conclusion: During uncompensable exercise-heat stress, sized-matched simulated burn injuries on the torso or limbs evoke comparable core temperature, heart rate, and perceptual responses, suggesting that the risk of exertional heat illness in such environmental conditions is independent of injury location.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2190-2195
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 American College of Sports Medicine.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Sweat rate, Core temperature, Heat stress, Burn survivor, Burn injury

ID: 261103557