Body temperature monitoring

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Anesthesia and surgery interfere with the normal homeostatic mechanisms that regulate body temperature. Hypothermia (both intentional and inadvertent) is commonly seen in the perioperative period, whereas hyperthermia is less common. Malignant hyperthermia has historically been associated with significant morbidity, but with current monitoring standards, early detection, and aggressive treatment, the mortality is much improved. Modern thermometry equipment includes a variety of devices, most of which have been developed recently. The characteristics of the different instruments have been described, and the clinical applications reviewed. Several different body sites have been used to monitor temperature and these have been reviewed with specific focus on the relative value of the various sites for thermometry during anesthesia and surgery. The particular monitoring site that is used should be chosen based on the individual characteristics of the patient and the anticipated surgical procedure. Some situations not only require an accurate assessment of core, but also a measure of peripheral temperature because the core-peripheral gradient is a valuable index for completeness of cooling and rewarming. Finally, temperature monitoring techniques for thermoregulatory research require multichannel monitoring of several different sites to assess thermoregulatory reflexes such as vasoconstriction. With greater awareness of the available modalities for the assessment and regulation of body temperature in the perioperative period, the anesthesiologist will have more information and improved control of one of the body's most basic homeostatic parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-407
Number of pages21
JournalAnesthesiology Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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