Exercise Core Temperature Response with a Simulated Burn Injury: Effect of Body Size

Matthew N. Cramer, Gilbert Moralez, M. U. Huang, K. E.N. Kouda, Paula Y.S. Poh, Craig G. Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Although the severity of a burn injury is often associated with the percentage of total body surface area burned (%TBSA), the thermoregulatory consequences of a given %TBSA injury do not account for the interactive effects of body morphology and metabolic heat production (Hprod). Purpose Using a simulated burn injury model to mimic the detrimental effect of a 40% TBSA injury on whole-body evaporative heat dissipation, core temperature response to exercise in physiologically uncompensable conditions between morphologically disparate groups were examined at (i) an absolute Hprod (W), and (ii) a mass-specific Hprod (W·kg-1). Methods Healthy, young, nonburned individuals of small (SM, n = 11) or large (LG, n = 11) body size cycled for 60 min at 500 W or 5.3 W·kg-1 of Hprod in 39°C and 20% relative humidity conditions. A 40% burn injury was simulated by affixing a highly absorbent, vapor-impermeable material across the torso (20% TBSA), arms (10% TBSA), and legs (10% TBSA) to impede evaporative heat loss in those regions. Results Although the elevation in core temperature was greater in SM compared with LG at an Hprod of 500 W (SM, 1.69°C ± 0.26°C; LG, 1.05°C ± 0.26°C; P < 0.01), elevations in core temperature were not different at an Hprod of 5.3 W·kg-1 between groups (SM, 0.99°C ± 0.32°C; LG, 1.05°C ± 0.26°C; P = 0.66). Conclusions These data suggest that among individuals with a 40% TBSA burn injury, a smaller body size leads to exacerbated elevations in core temperature during physical activities eliciting the same absolute Hprod (non-weight-bearing tasks) but not activities eliciting the same mass-specific Hprod (weight-bearing tasks).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-711
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Body Surface Area
  • Burn Survivor
  • Effective Surface Area
  • Heat Production
  • Work Intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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