Background and Goal of Study: Thermal changes of a patient's core temperature have significant implications [1,2] and must be monitored closely.
Core temperature can be measured at different sites of the body such as bladder, nasopharnyx or tympanic membrane, however invasive monitoring is not always possible or wanted. A new temporal-artery (TA) thermometer may be a feasible alternative.
Materials and Methods: We studied 50 patients (25 OR patients, 25 ICU patients); for each patient 7 measurements were performed. The value of the TA-thermometer was recorded twice, averaged and compared with a Mallinckrodt Thermistor built-in bladder catheter for core temperature measurement. Ambient temperature and forehead-sweating were recorded.
Results and Discussions: The mean difference between TA-measurements and bladder temperature was 0.58 ± 0.46°C.
Correlation coefficient for all measurements was 0.721 (p < 0.01).
326 measurements: Fever: Tcore > 37.8°C;
Hypothermia: Tcore < 35.5°C.
No influence of sweating was detected on the accuracy of the TA-thermometer.
Conclusion: The TA-thermometer is not yet able to replace invasive core temperature measurement methods due to the low sensitivity for both fever and hypothermia and due to the high mean difference (>0.5°C, above physiological variations ) between the TA and the bladder thermometer.