Effects of exercise in the heat on predisposition to heatstroke

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Presented at the Symposium on the Thermal Effects of Exercise in the Heat at the 25th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, May 24-27, 1978, Washington, D.C.

HUBBARD, ROGER W. Effects of exercise in the heat on predisposition to heatstroke. Med. Sci. Sports. Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 66-71, 1979. This article reviews briefly the historical origins for both the cardiovascular and neural-anhidrotic concepts of heatstroke pathophysiology. It describes how deemphasis of the role of anhidrosis as the primary cause of heatstroke has resulted in: (a) an increased acceptance of animal models for heatstroke research; (b) further evidence that rigid reliance on the classic heatstroke symptoms (coma, anhidrosis, and a fever over 106°F) can result in underdiagnosis; and (c) new research consistent with the hypothesis that exhaustive physical effort, by worsening circulatory collapse and metabolic acidosis predisposes tissue to hyperthermic injury and, as a result, substantially lowers the threshold for heatstroke injury and mortality. Thus, a new hypothesis combining the essential features of both direct thermal injury and cardiovascular origins of heatstroke pathophysiology may be necessary.


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