Fabian Grossmann, C Perret, B Mason, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen, Joelle Flueck

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


INTRODUCTION:The human bodies temperature is controlled by the thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus, which triggers the corresponding efferent answer to an afferent input. A spinal cord lesion results in an altered control of different physiological mechanism including thermoregulation. Consequently, a reduced afferent input to the thermoregulatory center might lead to a reduction in sweating capacity belowthe lesion level. This could increase exercise-induced heat strain. The aim of our study was to assess and compare the thermoregulatoryresponses of athletes with a spinal cord injury during real wheelchair basketball and rugby games.METHODS:Ten male national league wheelchair rugby players (WRP) with tetraplegia (mean ± SD, age 37.1 ± 7.4 y; body mass: 76.6 ± 11.3 kg) and 5male Swiss wheelchair basketball national team members (WBP) with a paraplegia (age 36.5 ± 7.4 y; body mass: 80.8 ± 10.5 kg) participated on different days in two competitive Swiss league rugby games and in one wheelchair basketball game respectively. The duration ofeach rugby game was 4 x 8 minutes (effective) and the conditions were 23.1 ± 1.3 °C, 41.8 ± 2.2 % rh. For the basketball game, the durationwas 4 x 10 minutes (effective) and the condition was 30.3°C, 47.1 % rh. Core temperature (Tc) was constantly monitored during the gamesby using an intestinal telemetric pill. Maximal (Tcmax) and the difference between baseline and end core temperature (Tcup) were calculated afterwards. Fluid loss was calculated (FL) by including pre-/post-weight and drinking volume. Rated perceived exertion (RPE) andthermal sensation (TS) were recorded before and immediately after the game.RESULTS:Tcup significantly increased in WRP in both games (game 1: 0.89 ± 0.48° C, p < 0.001, game 2: 0.79 ± 0.14° C, p < 0.001). For the WBP therewas also a significant increase in Tcup (0.73 ± 0.23° C, p = 0.003). Comparing both groups there were no significant differences betweenWRP and WBP in Tcup and Tcmax. WBP (1538.6 ± 643.3 g) showed a significantly higher FL in their game compared to both rugby games(game 1: 383.9 ± 217.7 g, p = 0.013, game 2: 313.27 ± 235.55 g, p = 0.011). TS was in both rugby games significantly lower (game 1: 1.9 ±1.1 p = 0.04, game 2: 1.7 ± 1.10, p = 0.02) compared with the basketball game (3.0 ± 0.7).CONCLUSION:During real competitive wheelchair games, the Tc for both, WRP and WBP increased significantly with no significant difference between thegroups. It is interesting that WRP had a lower playing-time and played in considerably cooler conditions, but still reached similar values inTc. This could be due to the higher lesion level and therefore the greater impairment of vaso- and sudomotor functions. The higher FL inWBP could be explained by the lower impairment or as well to the hot ambient temperature. The hot conditions in the sports hall duringthe basketball game might be the reason for the high TS in this players compared to WRP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-198
JournalBook of Abstracts 25th anniversary cogress ECSS
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Event25th annivrsary congress ECSS -
Duration: 28 Oct 202030 Oct 2020

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