Brain temperature, body core temperature, and intracranial pressure in acute cerebral damage

S. Rossi, E. Roncati Zanier, I. Mauri, A. Columbo, N. Stocchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives - To assess the frequency of hyperthermia in a population of acute neurosurgical patients; to assess the relation between brain temperature (ICT) and core temperature (Tc); to investigate the effect of changes in brain temperature on intracranial pressure (ICP). Methods - The study involved 20 patients (10 severe head injury, eight subarachnoid haemorrhage, two neoplasms) with median Glasgow coma score (GCS) 6. ICP and ICT were monitored by an intraventricular catheter coupled with a thermistor. Internal Tc was measured in the pulmonary artery by a Swan-Ganz catheter. Results - Mean ICT was 38.4 (SD 0.8) and mean Tc 38.1 (SD 0.8)°C; 73% of ICT and 57.5% of Tc measurements were ≥38°C. The mean difference between ICT and Tc was 0.3 (SD 0.3)°C (range -0.7 to 2.3°C) (p=0.0001). Only in 12% of patients was Tc higher than ICT. The main reason for the differences between ICT and Tc was body core temperature: the difference between ICT and Tc increased significantly with body core temperature and fell significantly when this was lowered. The mean gradient between ICT and Tc was 0.16 (SD 0.31)°C before febrile episodes (ICT being higher than Tc), and 0.41 (SD 0.38)°C at the febrile peak (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-454
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • Brain temperature
  • Head injury
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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