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January 1995

Effect of Steady Hypothermia and Normothermia on Multimodality Evoked Potentials in Human Poikilothermia

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (Dr MacKenzie), the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology (Drs Vingerhoets, Colon, and Notermans), and the Department of Ophthalmology (Dr Pinchers), University Hospital Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Dr Colon is now with the Department of Psychiatry, Delta Municipal Hospital Rotterdam, Poortugaal, and Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(1):52-58. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540250056013

Objective:  To assess the effects of steady-state spontaneous hypothermia on multimodality evoked potentials and on peripheral nerve conduction in human poikilothermia.

Design and Setting:  Case series at a university hospital.

Patients:  Four patients (four women, aged 28 to 37 years) with acquired poikilothermia.

Main Outcome Measures:  Short-latency somatosensory, brain-stem auditory, and visual evoked potentials as well as motor and sensory peripheral nerve conduction velocity during steady-state spontaneous hypothermia and normothermia.

Results:  The marked latency prolongation of all evoked potentials and decreased peripheral nerve conduction velocity observed during steady-state spontaneous hypothermia (mean±SD core temperature, 33.5±0.3°C) compared with normothermia (36.9±0.4°C) agrees with previous findings during short-term induced hypothermia.

Conclusions:  The unequivocal effect of sustained mild spontaneous hypothermia on evoked potentials and peripheral nerve conduction velocity underlines the importance of meticulous attention to even small alterations in core temperature in interpreting neurophysiological investigations.

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