Brain-systemic temperature gradient is temperature-dependent in children with severe traumatic brain injury.
ABSTRACT To understand the gradient between rectal and brain temperature in children after severe traumatic brain injury. We hypothesized that the rectal temperature and brain temperature gradient will be influenced by the child's body surface area and that this relationship will persist over physiologic temperature ranges.
Retrospective review of a prospectively collected pediatric neurotrauma registry.
Academic, university-based pediatric neurotrauma program.
Consecutive children (n = 40) with severe traumatic brain injury (Glasgow coma scale of <8) who underwent brain temperature monitoring (July 2003 to December 2008) were studied after informed consent was obtained. A subset of children (n = 24) were concurrently enrolled in a randomized, controlled clinical trial of early-moderate hypothermia for neuroprotection.
Data extraction of multiple clinical variables, including demographic data, body surface area, and rectal and brain temperature at recorded at hourly intervals.
Paired brain and rectal temperature measurements (in degrees Celsius, n = 4369) were collected hourly and compared by using Pearson correlations. Patients were stratified according to body surface area (<1.0 m, 1.0-1.99 m, 2.0-2.99 m, and >3.0 m) and based on brain temperature (≤34.0, 34.1-36.0; 36.1-38, ≥38.1). Body surface area and brain temperature were compared between groups by using Pearson correlations with correction for repeated measures. Mean brain temperature-rectal temperature difference was calculated for stratified brain temperature ranges. Overall, brain and rectal temperatures were highly correlated (r = .86, p < .001). During brain hyperthermia, brain temperature-rectal temperature was similar to that reported in previous studies with brain temperature higher than rectal temperature (1.75 ± 0.4; r = .54). Surprisingly, this relationship was reversed during brain hypothermia (brain temperature-rectal temperature = -1.87 ± 0.8; r = .37), indicating a reversal of the brain-systemic temperature gradient. When stratified for body surface area, the correlation between rectal temperature and brain temperature remained strong (r = .78, 0.91, 0.79 and 0.95, respectively, p < .001). However, the correlation between brain temperature and rectal temperature was substantially decreased when stratified for brain temperature (r = .37, 0.58, 0.48, 0.54, p < .001). In particular, during moderate brain hypothermia (brain temperature ≤34), the correlation between brain temperature and rectal temperature was weakest, indicating the greatest variability during this condition which is often targeted for therapeutic trials.
Brain temperature and rectal temperature are generally well-correlated in children with traumatic brain injury. This relationship is different at the extremes of the physiologic temperature range, with the temperature gradient reversed during brain hypothermia and hyperthermia. Given that studies showing neuroprotection from hypothermia in animal models of brain injury generally target brain temperature, our data suggest the possibility that, if brain temperature were the therapeutic target in clinical trials, this would result in somewhat higher systemic temperature and potentially fewer side effects. This relationship may be exploited in future clinical trials to maintain brain hypothermia (for neurologic protection) at slightly higher systemic temperatures (and potentially fewer systemic side effects).
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ABSTRACT: In patients with traumatic or ischemic brain injury, hyperthermia is thought to worsen the neurological injury. We studied fever in the neurosurgical intensive care unit (ICU) population using a definition common to surgical practice (rectal temperature >38.5 degrees C). We sought to determine fever incidence, fever duration, and peak temperature and to quantify the use of antipyretic therapy. We also attempted to determine the patient subgroups that are at highest risk for development of fever. In a retrospective chart review of a 6-month period, all febrile episodes that occurred in a consecutive series of neurosurgical ICU patients in a university hospital setting were studied. A febrile episode was defined as a rectal temperature of at least 38.5 degrees C; an episode lasted until the temperature fell below this threshold. The 428 patients studied had 946 febrile episodes. Fever occurred in 47% of patients, with a mean of 4.7 febrile episodes in each febrile patient. Fevers occurred in more than 50% of patients who were admitted to the ICU for subarachnoid hemorrhage, a central nervous system infection, seizure control, or hemorrhagic stroke, but they occurred in only 27% of patients admitted for spinal disorders. Fevers occurred in 15% of the patients who stayed in the ICU less than 24 hours, but in 93% of those who remained longer than 14 days. Despite the use of antipyretic therapy for 86% of the febrile episodes, 57% lasted longer than 4 hours and 5% lasted longer than 12 hours. Fever is common in critically ill neurosurgical patients, especially those with a prolonged length of stay in the ICU or a cranial disease. If hyperthermia worsens the functional outcome after a primary ischemic or traumatic injury, as has been suggested by several studies of stroke patients, treatment of fever is a clinical issue that requires better management.Neurosurgery 10/2000; 47(4):850-5; discussion 855-6. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent laboratory results have indicated that the ischemic brain is very sensitive to minor variations in temperature. This has created new interest in hypothermia and brain temperature. There is, however, very little information available regarding human intracerebral temperature and its relation to body core temperature during normal and pathological circumstances. We therefore made continuous measurements of the temperature of the lateral ventricle in 15 neurosurgical patients utilizing a newly developed technique with copper-constantan thermocouples introduced through a plastic catheter also used for monitoring intracranial pressure. The intraventricular temperature was higher than the rectal temperature during approximately 90% of all measurements. The largest temperature gradient measured was 2.3 degrees C. Usually the difference between the temperature of the rectum and the brain was much smaller, the mean value being 0.33 degrees C. For the patients in the most severe condition, the rectal temperature was sufficiently close to the brain temperature to afford a reliable basis for adequate clinical judgment.Neurosurgery 06/1991; 28(5):709-13. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We evaluated the perioperative and intraoperative changes of intracranial pressure (ICP) and partial pressure of brain tissue oxygen (PtiO2) after decompressive craniectomy in patients with diffuse brain oedema and space occupying infarction. Ten patients suffering from medically intractable raised intracranial pressure (ICP) were included. The underlying diseases and causes for elevated ICP were diffuse brain oedema after subarachnoid haemorrhage (n = 3) and head injury (n = 3), or space occupying infarction of the middle cerebral artery territory due to vasospasm after SAH (n = 4). Continuous perioperative and intraoperative monitoring of PtiO2 and ICP was performed at the side of decompression. ICP and PtiO2 improved significantly in a uniform pattern during bone flap removal and dura opening, irrespective of the underlying disease (mean ICP from 52 mmHg to 8 mmHg, mean PtiO2 from 9 mmHg to 25 mmHg). ICP, PtiO2, and cerebral perfusion pressure were further improved in the subsequent 12 hours after surgery, as compared to the preoperative 12 hours. Decompressive craniectomy seems to be a successful option in the treatment of intractable intracranial hypertension with associated cerebral hypoxia. These positive effects may last for several hours after the procedure irrespective of the underlying disease.Acta neurochirurgica. Supplement 02/2005; 95:117-8.