Heat acclimation improves sweat gland function and lowers sweat sodium concentration in an adult with cystic fibrosis

Ashley G.B. Willmott, Robert Holliss, Zoe L Saynor, Jo Corbett, Adam J. Causer, Neil S. Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present novel data concerning the time-course of adaptations and potential benefits of heat acclimation for people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF), who are at greater risk of exertional heat illness. A 25-year-old male (genotype: delta-F508 and RH117, forced expiratory volume in 1-second: 77% predicted and baseline sweat [Na +]: 70 mmol·L − 1), who had previously experienced muscle cramping during exercise in ambient heat, underwent 10-sessions of heat acclimation (90-min at 40°C and in 40% relative humidity). Adaptations included; lower resting core temperature (-0.40°C) and heart rate (-6 beats·min −1), plasma volume expansion (+6.0%) and, importantly, increased sweat loss (+370 mL) and sweat gland activity (+12 glands·cm 2) with decreased sweat [Na +] (-18 mmol·L − 1). Adaptations were maintained for at least 7-days, with no evidence of cramping during follow-up exercise-heat stress testing. These data suggest pwCF may benefit from heat acclimation to induce sudomotor function improvements, particularly reductions in sweat [Na +], however, further research is required.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Early online date2 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2020


  • Adaptation
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Heat acclimation
  • Heat stress
  • Sweat sodium concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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