Induction techniques that reduce redistribution hypothermia: a prospective, randomized, controlled, single blind effectiveness study

BMC Anesthesiol. 2019 Nov 6;19(1):203. doi: 10.1186/s12871-019-0866-8.


Background: While much effort has been devoted to correcting intraoperative hypothermia, less attention has been directed to preventing redistribution hypothermia. In this study, we compared three different anesthetic induction techniques to standard IV propofol inductions (control) in their effect on reducing redistribution hypothermia.

Methods: Elective, afebrile patients, age 18 to 55 years, were randomly assigned to one of four groups (n = 50 each). Group "INH/100" was induced with 8% sevoflurane in 100% oxygen, Group "INH/50" with 8% sevoflurane in 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide, Group "PROP" with 2.2 mg/kg propofol, and Group "Phnl/PROP" with 2.2 mg/kg propofol immediately preceded by 160 mcg phenylephrine. Patients were maintained with sevoflurane in 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen in addition to opioid narcotic. Forced air warming was used. Core temperatures were recorded every 15 min after induction for 1 h.

Results: Compared to control group PROP, the mean temperatures in groups INH/100, INH/50, and Phnl/PROP were higher 15, 30, 45 and 60 min after induction (p < 0.001 for all comparisons), averaging between 0.39 °C and 0.54 °C higher. In group PROP, 60% of patients had at least one temperature below 36.0 °C in the first hour whereas only 16% did in each of groups INH/100, INH/50, and Phnl/PROP (p < 0.0001 in each group compared to PROP).

Conclusions: In this effectiveness trial, inhalation inductions with sevoflurane or with prophylactic phenylephrine bolus prior to propofol induction reduced the magnitude of redistribution hypothermia by an average of 0.4 to 0.5 °C in patients aged 18 to 55 years.

Trial registration: Retrospectively registered on as NCT02331108 , November 20, 2014.

Keywords: Anesthesia induction; Hypothermia; Inhalation anesthesia induction; Inhalation induction; Intraoperative hypothermia; Intravenous anesthesia induction; Intravenous induction; Perioperative hypothermia; Postoperative hypothermia; Redistribution hypothermia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Inhalation / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / prevention & control*
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrous Oxide / administration & dosage
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Phenylephrine
  • Propofol / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sevoflurane / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Inhalation
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Phenylephrine
  • Sevoflurane
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Oxygen
  • Propofol

Associated data