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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1902325, 11 pages
Research Article

Acute Thermotherapy Prevents Impairments in Cutaneous Microvascular Function Induced by a High Fat Meal

1Department of Kinesiology & Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302-3975, USA
2Department of Health & Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 12 January 2016; Revised 9 June 2016; Accepted 5 July 2016

Academic Editor: Andrea Flex

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer C. Harvey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We tested the hypothesis that a high fat meal (HFM) would impair cutaneous vasodilation, while thermotherapy (TT) would reverse the detrimental effects. Eight participants were instrumented with skin heaters and laser-Doppler (LD) probes and tested in three trials: control, HFM, and HFM + TT. Participants wore a water-perfused suit perfused with 33°C (control and HFM) or 50°C (HFM + TT) water. Participants consumed 1 g fat/kg body weight. Blood samples were taken at baseline and two hours post-HFM. Blood pressure was measured every 5–10 minutes. Microvascular function was assessed via skin local heating from 33°C to 39°C two hours after HFM. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated and normalized to maximal vasodilation (%). HFM had no effect on initial peak (48 ± 4 %) compared to control (49 ± 4 %) but attenuated the plateau (51 ± 4 %) compared to control (63 ± 4 %, P < 0.001). Initial peak was augmented in HFM + TT (66 ± 4 %) compared to control and HFM (P < 0.05), while plateau (73 ± 3 % ) was augmented only compared to the HFM trial (P < 0.001). These data suggest that HFM negatively affects cutaneous vasodilation but can be minimized by TT.