Hypothermia for cerebral protection is usually achieved by administration of intravenous fluids at room temperature, cooling ambient air, ice packs, and a temperature-adjustable circulating water mattress. We compared cooling by conduction by using a water mattress to cool by convection by using a forced-air cooling device. Twenty patients were prospectively randomized to two groups: 10 patients cooled by convection (CC) and 10 patients cooled by traditional methods (TC). Two patients in the CC group were withdrawn from the study and excluded from the analysis; one patient for failure to cool despite the use of both techniques, and the other for the abrupt onset of arrhythmias and myocardial depression during hypothermia. Temperature was measured at the tympanic membrane, pulmonary artery, and esophageal probe sites and recorded every 15 min. The time required to reach the target temperature range of 33-34°C was recorded. We found no differences in the temperatures measured at the three sites during cooling and rewarming. Baseline temperatures recorded from the pulmonary artery catheter before beginning 'active cooling' were similar in both groups (TC, 35.0 ± 0.2°C vs. CC, 35.3 ± 0.1 °C). We found no difference in the time to target temperature between TC and CC (TC, 178 ± 25 min vs. CC, 142 ± 21 min). One patient had some arrhythmias on cooling in the convective group, but her preoperative condition may have been responsible. In conclusion, cooling by convection appears to be a safe alternative to conduction cooling.
- Cooling, convection, conductive
- Hypothermia, controlled, mild
- Intracranial surgery
- Ischemia, cerebral
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine