To prevent brain damage during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), adequate cerebral perfusion for cerebral oxygen demand should be maintained. We monitored jugular venous oxyhemoglobin saturation (SjO2), which reflects the overall balance of cerebral oxygen supply and demand, continuously in 12 patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We examined whether this balance is disrupted during CPB, and if so, analyzed critical factors that affect this phenomenon. At the initiation of CPB, in spite of a significant decrease in mean arterial pressure, SjO2 did not change, and it was stable during the hypothermic period of CPB. On the other hand, a significant reduction in SjO2 was observed during the rewarming period, and SjO2 had an inverse linear correlation with nasopharyngeal temperature. Furthermore, the percent decrease of SjO2 was significantly related to "rewarming speed" (an average increase in temperature per minute). Our results indicate that temperature change during the rewarming period is a critical factor affecting the balance of cerebral oxygen supply and demand during CPB.