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An inquiry into the role of cardiac filling pressure in acclimatization to heat.

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Design


During the first exposure of exercising subjects to hot environments (30-50 degrees C), cardiac output, heart rate, and body temperature increase over that seen in cool environments, while stroke volume decreases. If daily heat exposures occur, during the second heat exposure, heart rates and rectal temperatures are decreased from day 1 while cardiac output is maintained. This decrease in physiological strain occurs with little or no increase in evaporative heat loss. The alleviating agent appears to be an expansion of plasma volume. Several brief studies have indicated decreases in cardiac filling pressure during exercise in heat, and though inferential, it appears that the progressive increase in plasma volume during the first five to six days of heat exposure assists in maintaining cardiac filling pressure. Later, with increased evaporative heat loss due to increased sweat secretion, the mechanism of supplying increased volume to maintain cardiac filling is changed; fluid is transferred from extravascular to intravascular compartment, thus protecting venous return and cardiac filling pressure. These statements are based on limited data, and there is need of experiments designed to confirm or deny certain conclusions as to the role of cardiac filling pressure in acclimatization to heat.

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