Accuracy of Zero-Heat-Flux Cutaneous Temperature in Intensive Care Adults

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Abstract

Objectives:

To compare accuracy of a continuous noninvasive cutaneous temperature using zero-heat-flux method to esophageal temperature and arterial temperature.

Design:

Prospective study.

Setting:

ICU and NeuroICU, University Hospital.

Patients:

Fifty-two ICU patients over a 4-month period who required continuous temperature monitoring were included in the study, after informed consent.

Interventions:

All patients had esophageal temperature probe and a noninvasive cutaneous device to monitor their core temperature continuously. In seven patients who required cardiac output monitoring, continuous iliac arterial temperature was collected. Simultaneous core temperatures were recorded from 1 to 5 days. Comparison to the esophageal temperature, considered as the reference in this study, used the Bland and Altman method with adjustment for multiple measurements per patient.

Measurements and Main Results:

The esophageal temperature ranged from 33°C to 39.7°C, 61,298 pairs of temperature using zero-heat-flux and esophageal temperature were collected and 1,850 triple of temperature using zero-heat-flux, esophageal temperature, and arterial temperature. Bias and limits of agreement for temperature using zero-heat-flux were 0.19°C ± 0.53°C compared with esophageal temperature with an absolute difference of temperature pairs equal to or lower than 0.5°C of 92.6% (95% CI, 91.9–93.4%) of cases and equal to or lower than 1°C for 99.9% (95% CI, 99.7–100.0%) of cases. Compared with arterial temperature, bias and limits of agreement were –0.00°C ± 0.36°C with an absolute difference of temperature pairs equal to or lower than 0.5°C of 99.8% (95% CI, 95.3–100%) of cases. All absolute difference of temperature pairs between temperature using zero-heat-flux and arterial temperature and between arterial temperature and esophageal temperature were equal to or lower than 1°C. No local or systemic serious complication was observed.

Conclusions:

These results suggest a comparable reliability of the cutaneous sensor using the zero-heat-flux method compared with esophageal or iliac arterial temperatures measurements.

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