ABSTRACT: Afterdrop, defined as the precipitous reduction in core temperature after cardiopulmonary bypass, results from redistribution of body heat to inadequately warmed peripheral tissues. The authors tested two methods of ameliorating afterdrop: (1) forced-air warming of peripheral tissues and (2) nitroprusside-induced vasodilation.
Patients were cooled during cardiopulmonary bypass to approximately 32 degrees C and subsequently rewarmed to a nasopharyngeal temperature near 37 degrees C and a rectal temperature near 36 degrees C. Patients in the forced-air protocol (n = 20) were assigned randomly to forced-air warming or passive insulation on the legs. Active heating started with rewarming while undergoing bypass and was continued for the remainder of surgery. Patients in the nitroprusside protocol (n = 30) were assigned randomly to either a control group or sodium nitroprusside administration. Pump flow during rewarming was maintained at 2.5 l x m(-2) x min(-1) in the control patients and at 3.0 l x m(-2) x min(-1) in those assigned to sodium nitroprusside. Sodium nitroprusside was titrated to maintain a mean arterial pressure near 60 mm Hg. In all cases, a nasopharyngeal probe evaluated core (trunk and head) temperature and heat content. Peripheral compartment (arm and leg) temperature and heat content were estimated using fourth-order regressions and integration over volume from 18 intramuscular needle thermocouples, nine skin temperatures, and "deep" hand and foot temperature.
In patients warmed with forced air, peripheral tissue temperature was higher at the end of warming and remained higher until the end of surgery. The core temperature afterdrop was reduced from 1.2+/-0.2 degrees C to 0.5+/-0.2 degrees C by forced-air warming. The duration of afterdrop also was reduced, from 50+/-11 to 27+/-14 min. In the nitroprusside group, a rectal temperature of 36 degrees C was reached after 30+/-7 min of rewarming. This was only slightly faster than the 40+/-13 min necessary in the control group. The afterdrop was 0.8+/-0.3 degrees C with nitroprusside and lasted 34+/-10 min which was similar to the 1.1+/-0.3 degrees C afterdrop that lasted 44+/-13 min in the control group.
Cutaneous warming reduced the core temperature afterdrop by 60%. However, heat-balance data indicate that this reduction resulted primarily because forced-air heating prevented the typical decrease in body heat content after discontinuation of bypass, rather than by reducing redistribution. Nitroprusside administration slightly increased peripheral tissue temperature and heat content at the end of rewarming. However, the core-to-peripheral temperature gradient was low in both groups. Consequently, there was little redistribution in either case.
Anesthesiology 03/2000; 92(2):447-56. · 5.36 Impact Factor