hot off the press, Chelsea’s paper has come out on-line in Lab Animals. this study nicely shows that pre-warming before general anaesthesia in rats is effective at maintaining core body temperature. general anaesthesia reduces the ability of the body to maintain core temperature, and because the normal temperature gradient between the warm core and cooler periphery is lost, this results in hypothermia. therefore, if the normal temperature gradient can be reduced (by pre-warming the periphery), the onset of hypothermia can be delayed, for 40 minutes in this case. pre-warmed rats also recovered approximately 5 times faster from anaesthesia.
additionally, chelsea was able to quantify the relationship between rectal temperature (a common way of monitoring body temperature during anaesthesia) and core body temperature (measured with telemetry), showing that while rectal temperature measuerements are less accurate, they maintain a fairly constant, predictable, relationship with core temperature.