Brain temperature in volunteers subjected to intranasal cooling

L. Covaciu, J. Weis, C Bengtsson, M. Allers, Anders Lunderquist, H. Ahlstrom, S. Rubertsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intranasal cooling can be used to initiate therapeutic hypothermia. However, direct measurement of brain temperature is difficult and the intra-cerebral distribution of temperature changes with cooling is unknown. The purpose of this study was to measure the brain temperature of human volunteers subjected to intranasal cooling using non-invasive magnetic resonance (MR) methods. Intranasal balloons catheters circulated with saline at 20A degrees C were applied for 60 min in ten awake volunteers. No sedation was used. Brain temperature changes were measured and mapped using MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) and phase-mapping techniques. Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored throughout the experiment. Rectal temperature was measured before and after the cooling. Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) test and nasal inspection were done before and after the cooling. Questionnaires about the subjects' personal experience were completed after the experiment. Brain temperature decrease measured by MRSI was -1.7 +/- A 0.8A degrees C and by phase-mapping -1.8 +/- A 0.9A degrees C (n = 9) at the end of cooling. Spatial distribution of temperature changes was relatively uniform. Rectal temperature decreased by -0.5 +/- A 0.3A degrees C (n = 5). The physiological parameters were stable and no shivering was reported. The volunteers remained alert during cooling and no cognitive dysfunctions were apparent in the MMSE test. Postcooling nasal examination detected increased nasal secretion in nine of the ten volunteers. Volunteers' acceptance of the method was good. Both MR techniques revealed brain temperature reductions after 60 min of intranasal cooling with balloons circulated with saline at 20A degrees C in awake, unsedated volunteers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1277-1284
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Laboratory for Experimental Brain Research (013041000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care


  • Therapeutic hypothermia
  • Brain temperature
  • Magnetic resonance
  • spectroscopy
  • Selective brain cooling
  • Trigeminal reflex


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