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November 1969

Tympanic Thermometry During Anesthesia

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(5):544. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030546002

TWO fascinating articles on the recording of body temperature during anesthesia from the inner end of the external auditory canal appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the first article T. H. Benzinger1 reviewed the current concept of body heat regulation. The cooling effect of skin sweating is a major method for promoting heat loss, but studies have shown that internal body temperature rather than skin temperature regulates the rate of sweating, there being a central thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus, the center of Aronsohn and Sachs. Since there is no practical method for inserting a thermometer into the hypothalamus, the author selected its main arterial supply, the internal carotid artery, as the best site for measuring temperature at the central thermoregulatory center. The anatomic position of the tympanic membrane, deep within the skull, and separated from the internal carotid artery by only the narrow air-filled

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