Clinical importance of body temperature in the surgical patient

Steven M. Frank, Kha M. Tran, Lee A. Fleisher, Hossam K. Elrahmany

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

14 Scopus citations


1. Mild hypothermia (Tc=32-34°C) is useful in protecting the brain and spinal cord from ischemic injury during certain surgical procedures (cerebral aneurysm, thoracic aortic aneurysm repair). 2. Postoperative shivering increases metabolic demands by ≃40% in the average patient. 3. The adrenergic effects of postoperative hypothermia are manifest as increased norepinephrine, vasomotor tone, and arterial blood pressure. 4. Postoperative myocardial ischemia occurs 2-3 times more frequently in patients with Tc < 35.0°C than in normothermic patients. The relative risk of postoperative cardiac morbidity can be reduced by 55% when hypothermia is prevented during surgery using forced-air warming. 5. Coagulation is impaired at Tc < 35.0°C, predisposing to increased surgical bleeding. The risk of wound infection is increased 3-fold in patients who are hypothermic (Tc < 35.0°C) during surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Adrenergic
  • Cardiovascular
  • Catecholamine
  • Hypothermia
  • Ischemia
  • Metabolic
  • Morbidity
  • Perioperative
  • Shivering
  • Thermoregulation
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Warming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Developmental Biology


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