Changes of body temperature and heat in cardiac surgical patients

C. A. Shanks, L. D. Wade, R. Meyer, C. J. Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Changes in body temperature were assessed in ten adult patients undergoing surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and induced hypothermia. Intraoperatively, in comparable time intervals before CPB and after rewarming, the patients lost body heat. Between the time of induction of anaesthesia and CPB, the temperature of blood in the pulmonary artery fell 1.46 (SD 0.28° C); between CPB and the end of surgery the fall was 1.55 (SD 0.86°C). The extent of spontaneous hypothermia did not correlate with the amount of subcutaneous fat. Hypothermia was induced to obtain a stable deep body temperature of 27.2 (SD 1.3)°C, when mean skin temperature averaged 2°C higher. The CPB machine returned approximately 2000 kJ of heat in the rewarming period, to produce pulmonary artery and mean skin temperatures of 37.1 (SD 0.7)°C and 31.4 (SD 2.1)°C respectively. Intraoperative deep body temperatures demonstrated the expected exponential relationship with metabolic rate. Postoperatively, increase in metabolic rate was associated with rising deep body and skin temperatures. Low resistance to the flow of heat toward the skin surface was demonstrated by low postoperative values for thermal insulation, which may indicate good peripheral perfusion seen during continuing vasodilator therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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