VA Report: Why do some patients with heart failure experience severe sweating?

In Morgan and Nadas’s seminal study they reported that sweating was greater at rest in HF patients compared with controls. Moreover, recent studies suggest that HF patients have similar sweating responses to controls when exposed to passive wholebody heating (Table 1).

Table 1. A Summary of Findings From Key Studies to Date Examining Thermoregulation in the Context of HF

Balmain, B., Sabapathy, S., Jay, O., Adsett, J., Stewart, G., Jayasinghe, R., & Morris, N. (n.d.). Heart Failure and Thermoregulatory Control: Can Patients With Heart Failure Handle the Heat? Journal of Cardiac Failure., 23(8), 621-627.

A common finding among studies examining thermoregulation in the context of HF to date is that HF patients appear to demonstrate impaired heat-induced increases in SkBF compared with controls. Although the mechanisms responsible for impaired SkBF in HF are not yet well understood, it may be argued that the compensatory activation of neurohumoral mechanisms that increase with severity of the condition at least partially contribute to the blunted heat-induced rise in SkBF in HF patients

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