Temperature

Brain temperature is largely determined by the CBF and the core temperature (126 ). In animal models, even mild hypothermia is neuroprotective (127,128) and hyperthermia worsens outcome (129). Several factors affect brain temperature, and depression of CBF, anesthesia, brain exposure by means of craniectomy (or loss of insulating tissues, such as hair, skin, subcutaneous fat, and bone) are the most important. Larger brains cool down slower than smaller brains. Monitoring and maintaining the rectal temperature within physiologic ranges by means of a heating blanket or a heating lamp will likely suffice in most conditions. However, experiments with novel drugs might necessitate separate measurements of brain temperature and CBF to verify or to exclude possible hypothermic or vasodilatative effects as the primary source of neuroprotection.

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