Comparison of the available temperature measurement methods in critically ill patients

Accurate body temperature monitoring in critically ill patients is very important. The most accurate, precise and reliable method is clinically achieved with the measurement of the mixed venous blood temperature of the pulmonary artery (PA) through a Swan-Ganz catheter. Other alternative methods are tested by comparing them to the gold standard of PA temperature measurement through a Swan-Ganz catheter. AIM The comparison of the urinary bladder (UB) and axillary (A) temperature with the PA temperature in intensive care unit (ICU) critically ill patients. MATERIAL-METHOD Multiple and continuous temperature measurements in time intervals ≥1 hour with all three methods mentioned above were taking place in six ICU patients. RESULTS The mean value of the difference of the temperature between PA and UB was 0.08 °C (P=NS) while between PA and A was 0.183 °C (R<0.001). The mean value of the temperature variance was –0,126 °C for PA, –0,087 °C for UB and –0,135 °C for A, without statistically significant differences between them (P=NS). CONCLUSIONS Although the two comparing methods are found to have the same accuracy, the UB temperature measurement is more precise compared to A temperature measurement regarding precision and reliability.