Body temperature is among the classical vital signs, and for good reason, since thermal perturbations both cause and indicate disease. Aside from infectious fever, hypothermia during surgery is the most common temperature disturbance. Temperature monitoring and thermal management are therefore key responsibilities for anesthesia professionals. Detailed reviews of thermoregulation, heat balance, and consequences and treatment of hypothermia have been published in this journal. There are dozens of clinical indications for temperature measurement, but this review will focus on those most relevant to anesthesia.

Normal human core body averages about 37°C. However, there is a superimposed circadian rhythm with roughly a 1°C range. Normal core body temperature thus varies from ≈36.5°C (usually about 3:00 am) to ≈37.5°C (usually about 3:00 pm). In premenopausal women, there are also superimposed changes in temperature with...

You do not currently have access to this content.