Comparison of Conductive and Convective Warming in Patients Undergoing Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery: A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial

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Perioperative hypothermia is frequent during thoracic surgery. After approval by the local ethics committee and written informed consent from patients, we examined the efficiency of prewarming and intraoperative warming with a convective warming system and conductive warming system to prevent perioperative hypothermia during video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).


We randomized 60 patients with indication for VATS in two groups (convective warming with an underbody blanket vs. conductive warming with an underbody mattress and additional warming of the legs). All patients were prewarmed before induction of anesthesia with the corresponding system. Core temperature was measured sublingual and in the nasopharynx.


Both groups were not significantly different in regard to clinical parameter, prewarming, and initial core temperature. The patients in conduction group had lower intraoperative core temperatures and a higher incidence of intraoperative (73.9 vs. 24%) and postoperative hypothermia (56.5 vs. 8%) compared with convective warming.


Pre- and intraoperative convective warming with an underbody blanket prevents perioperative hypothermia during VATS better than conductive warming. The inferior prevention in conductive warming group may be caused by reduced body contact to the warming mattresses in lateral position.

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