Interaction of hyperthermia and heart rate on stroke volume during prolonged exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Sep;109(3):745-51. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00377.2010. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


People who become hyperthermic during exercise display large increases in heart rate (HR) and reductions in stroke volume (SV). It is not clear if the reduction in SV is due primarily to hyperthermia or if it is a secondary effect of an elevation in HR reducing ventricular filling. In the present study, the upward drift of HR during prolonged exercise was prevented by a very small dose of the β1-adrenoreceptor blocker (atenolol; βB), thus allowing SV to be compared at a given HR during normothermia and hyperthermia. Eleven men cycled for 60 min at 57% of peak O2 uptake after receiving placebo control (PL) or a low dose (0.2 mg/kg) of βB. Hyperthermia was induced by reducing heat dissipation during exercise. Four experimental conditions were studied: normothermia-PL, normothermia-βB, hyperthermia-PL, and hyperthermia-βB. Hyperthermia increased skin and core temperature by 4.3 degrees C and 0.8 degrees C (P<0.01), respectively. βB prevented HR elevation with hyperthermia: HR values were similar at minute 60 during normothermia-PL and hyperthermia-βB (155±11 and 154±13 beats/min, respectively, P=0.82). However, SV was increased by 7% during the final 20 min of exercise during hyperthermia-βB compared with normothermia-PL (treatment×time interaction, P=0.03). In conclusion, when matched for HR, mild hyperthermia increased SV during exercise. Furthermore, the reduction in SV throughout prolonged exercise under normothermic and mildly hyperthermic conditions appears to be due to the increase in HR.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-1 Receptor Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Atenolol / administration & dosage
  • Bicycling
  • Blood Volume
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Body Weight
  • Exercise*
  • Fever / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Perception
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenergic beta-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Atenolol