European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 81, Issue 1–2, pp 159–162 | Cite as

Can skin temperature manipulation, with minimal core temperature change, influence plasma volume in resting humans?

  • Graeme J. Maw
  • Ian L. Mackenzie
  • Nigel A. S. Taylor


We investigated body-fluid distribution in resting humans, during short-term, whole-body skin temperature modification, in which core temperature changes (ΔTc) were minimal. Seven males participated in hot (36.2°C (s.d. 0.7), 44% relative humidity (rh; s.d. 3)), temperate (22.0°C (s.d. 1.0), 52% rh (s.d. 6)), and cool trials (14.4°C (s.d. 1.6), 74% rh (s.d. 9)), while seated at rest. Total body water (TBW), extracellular fluid (ECF), erythrocyte (RCV) and plasma volumes (PV) were measured using a simultaneous radionuclide dilution technique. In the cold, PV contracted by 205 ml (±60) by the end of exposure (p = 0.04), while in the heat, PV expanded 108 ml (±123; p = 0.02). Both RCV and TBW remained stable, regardless of the environment. Despite fluid movement across the vascular wall, ECF, interstitial and intracellular volumes were relatively unaffected by skin temperature. It was concluded that, at rest, and with minimal ΔTc, the intravascular fluid volume was dependent on prevailing environmental conditions, and its impact on local skin temperature and venomotor tone.

Key words Blood volume Body fluids Extracellular fluid Heat Plasma volume Rest Total body water 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graeme J. Maw
    • 1
  • Ian L. Mackenzie
    • 2
  • Nigel A. S. Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Science, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522
  2. 2.Haematology Department, Illawarra Regional Hospital, Wollongong, NSW 2500, AustraliaAU
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Science, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia e-mail: Tel.: 61-2-4221-3881; Fax: 61-2-4221-4096AU

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