Brain temperature appears to be an important factor affecting motor activity, but it is not known to what extent brain temperature increases during prolonged exercise in humans. Cerebral heat exchange was therefore evaluated in seven males during exercise with and without hyperthermia. Middle cerebral artery mean blood velocity (MCA Vmean) was continuously monitored while global cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral energy turnover were determined at the end of the two exercise trials in three subjects. The arterial to venous temperature difference across the brain (v‐aDtemp) was determined via thermocouples placed in the internal jugular vein and in the aorta. The jugular venous blood temperature was always higher than that of the arterial blood, demonstrating that heat was released via the CBF during the normothermic as well as the hyperthermic exercise condition. However, heat removal via the jugular venous blood was 30 ± 6 % lower during hyperthermia compared to the control trial. The reduced heat removal from the brain was mainly a result of a 20 ± 6 % lower CBF (22 ± 9 % reduction in MCA Vmean), because the v‐aDtemp was not significantly different in the hyperthermic (0.20 ± 0.05 °C) compared to the control trial (0.22 ± 0.05 °C). During hyperthermia, the impaired heat removal via the blood was combined with a 7 ± 2 % higher heat production in the brain and heat was consequently stored in the brain at a rate of 0.20 ± 0.06 J g−1 min−1. The present results indicate that the average brain temperature is at least 0.2 °C higher than that of the body core during exercise with or without hyperthermia.
The Journal of Physiology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2002
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