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Am J Crit Care. 2007 Sep;16(5):485-96.

Accuracy and precision of noninvasive temperature measurement in adult intensive care patients.

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1
University of Washington Medical Center, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research on the accuracy and precision of noninvasive methods of measuring body temperature is equivocal.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine accuracy and precision of oral, ear-based, temporal artery, and axillary temperature measurements compared with pulmonary artery temperature.

METHODS:

Repeated-measures design conducted for 6 months. Sequential temperature measurements on the same side of the body were obtained within 1 minute, with measurements repeated 3 times at 20-minute intervals. Accuracy, precision, and confidence limits were analyzed.

RESULTS:

In 60 adults with cardiopulmonary disease and a pulmonary artery catheter, mean pulmonary artery temperature was 37.1 degrees C (SD 0.6 degrees C, range 35.3 degrees C-39.4 degrees C). Mean (SD) offset from pulmonary artery temperature (with the mean reflecting accuracy and SD reflecting precision) and confidence limits were 0.09 degrees C (0.43 degrees C) and -0.75 degrees C to 0.93 degrees C for oral measurements, -0.36 degrees C (0.56 degrees C) and -1.46 degrees C to 0.74 degrees C for ear measurements, -0.02 degrees C (0.47 degrees C) and -0.92 degrees C to 0.88 degrees C for temporal artery measurements, and 0.23 degrees C (0.44 degrees C) and -0.64 degrees C to 1.12 degrees C for axillary measurements. Percentage of pairs with differences greater than +/-0.5 degrees C was 19% for oral, 49% for ear, 20% for temporal artery, and 27% for axillary measurements. Intubation increased oral measurements compared with pulmonary artery temperatures (mean difference 0.3 degrees C, SD 0.3 degrees C, P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral and temporal artery measurements were most accurate and precise. Axillary measurements underestimated pulmonary artery temperature. Ear measurements were least accurate and precise. Intubation affected the accuracy of oral measurements; diaphoresis and airflow across the face may affect temporal artery measurements.

PMID:
17724246
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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