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Chin J Physiol. 2020 Jan-Feb;63(1):1-6. doi: 10.4103/CJP.CJP_46_19.

Sex-related differences in sudomotor function in healthy early twenties focused on activated sweat gland density.

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College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, 366-1 Ssangyong-dong, Cheonan 31151, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, 366-1 Ssangyong-dong, Cheonan 31151, Republic of Korea.
College of Arts and Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess the difference in sudomotor function between healthy males and females in their early twenties by measuring skin surface area and activated sweat gland density (ASGD). The quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test (QSART), a method for evaluating autonomic nervous system activity, was used for quantification. In QSART, the sweat glands are activated directly or indirectly by the subcutaneous application of neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, through iontophoresis. This series of mechanisms is called the sudomotor axon reflex. After recording age, height, weight, and several measurements of the forearm, QSART was performed on 101 healthy controls aged 21-26 years to measure ASGD. The mean temperature and humidity on the measurement days were 11.4°C and 58.1% on May 3, 2018, and 14.7°C and 70.3% on May 10, 2018. The result of independent sample t-test showed higher ASGD in women (P < 0.05). The body surface area and the surface area of the forearms were higher in men (P < 0.001), but the number of activated sweat glands was not significantly different according to sex. The activated sweat gland counts of the body and forearms were analyzed through linear regression by age for males and females. Except for the activated sweat gland count of the male body, the analysis showed a tendency to decrease with increasing age but was not statistically significant in any case (P > 0.05). Showing insufficient coefficient of determination (R2), multiple regression analyses with sex and ages did not correct this insignificance between age and activated sweat gland count.


Acetylcholine; activated sweat gland density; axon reflex; quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test; sudomotor mechanism

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