Therapeutic hypothermia induction via an esophageal route—a computer simulation

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ObjectivesMild therapeutic hypothermia has been shown to improve outcomes after adult cardiac arrest but remains underused. Development of easier methods than currently exist to induce therapeutic hypothermia may help increase use of this treatment. We developed a mathematical model to evaluate the potential to induce mild therapeutic hypothermia through the esophagus.MethodsUsing a finite element mathematical modeling software package incorporating Pennes Bioheat equation, we predicted the changes in body temperature that would occur with placement of an esophageal cooling device containing recirculating chilled water at 10°C.ResultsPatient temperature under the simulated conditions decreased from 37°C to 33°C in approximately 40 minutes. Distribution of body temperature was not uniform in our model, with the skin surface and extremities showing a greater temperature decrease than in the patient's core.ConclusionsOur computer simulations suggest that inducing mild therapeutic hypothermia via an esophageal route is feasible.

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