Neurocritical Care

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 140–149 | Cite as

Efficacy of Selective Brain Cooling Using a Nasopharyngeal Method in Piglets

  • Mohammad Fazel Bakhsheshi
  • Errol E. Stewart
  • Joo Ho Tai
  • Laura Morrison
  • Lynn Keenliside
  • Ting-Yim Lee
Translational Research



Mild hypothermia is an effective neuroprotective strategy for a variety of acute brain injuries. Cooling the nasopharynx may offer the capability to cool the brain selectively due to anatomic proximity of the internal carotid artery to the cavernous sinus. This study investigated the feasibility and efficiency of nasopharyngeal brain cooling by continuously blowing room temperature or cold air at different flow rates into the nostrils of normal newborn piglets.


Experiments were conducted on thirty piglets (n = 30, weight = 2.7 ± 1.5 kg). Piglets were anesthetized with 1–2 % isoflurane and were randomized to receive one of four different nasopharyngeal cooling treatments: I. Room temperature at a flow rate of 3–4 L min−1 (n = 6); II. −1 ± 2 °C at a flow rate of 3–4 L min−1 (n = 6); III. Room temperature at a flow rate of 14–15 L min−1 (n = 6); IV. −8 ± 2 °C at a flow rate of 14–15 L min−1 (n = 6). To control for the normal thermal regulatory response of piglets without nasopharyngeal cooling, a control group of piglets (n = 6) had their brain temperature monitored without nasopharyngeal cooling. The duration of treatment was 60 min, with additional 30 min of observation.


In group I, median cooling rate was 1.7 ± 0.9 °C/h by setting the flow rate of room temperature air to 3–4 L min−1. Results of comparing different temperatures and flow rates in the nasopharyngeal cooling approach reveal that the brain temperature could be reduced rapidly at a rate of 5.5 ± 1.1 °C/h by blowing −8 ± 2 °C air at a flow rate of 14–15 L min−1.


Nasopharyngeal cooling via cooled insufflated air can lower the brain temperature, with higher flows and lower temperatures of insufflated air being more effective.


Temperature Hypothermia Newborn piglet Nasopharyngeal cooling 



The authors would also like to thank Laura Morrison and Jennifer Hadway for their help in conducting the animal experiments. All work was performed in Lawson Health Research Institute.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest



Lawson Health Research Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Fazel Bakhsheshi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Errol E. Stewart
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joo Ho Tai
    • 4
  • Laura Morrison
    • 1
  • Lynn Keenliside
    • 1
  • Ting-Yim Lee
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Imaging ProgramLawson Health Research InstituteLondonCanada
  2. 2.Imaging Research LaboratoriesRobarts Research InstituteLondonCanada
  3. 3.Departments of Medical Imaging and BiophysicsThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  4. 4.Center for Medical-IT Convergence ResearchSeoul National UniversitySuwonRepublic of Korea

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