Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 446, Issue 2, pp 279–284 | Cite as

Tympanic temperature reflects intracranial temperature changes in humans

Temperature Regulation


The purpose of the study was to identify extracranial locations in which temperature changes in humans reflect those of intracranial temperature in a reliable and repeatable way. This was achieved by subjecting 14 non-anaesthetized patients after neurosurgery to face fanning while intracranial and extracranial temperatures were continuously measured. In all patients the cranium was closed and the group included both febrile and non-febrile as well as hyperthermic and normothermic patients. The patients' faces were fanned for 20–30 min, with a small fan at an air speed of 3.25 m s−1. This gave intracranial temperature changes measured in the subdural space (Tsd) that were highly and significantly correlated (r=0.91, P<0.05, n=14) with changes in tympanic temperatures (Tty). A low, statistically insignificant correlation (r=0.40, P>0.05, n=12) was found between Tsd and oesophageal temperatures. In conclusion, intracranial temperature changes, induced by face fanning, were reliably reflected by the changes in Tty.


Brain temperature Face fanning Humans Tympanic temperature 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag  2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryMedical University of Bialystok BialystokPoland
  2. 2.Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Physiology, School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (SHKR)Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John'sCanada

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