Difference in thermodynamics between two types of esophageal temperature probes: Insights from an experimental study

Carola Gianni, Moustapha Atoui, Sanghamitra Mohanty, Chintan Trivedi, Rong Bai, Amin Al-Ahmad, J. David Burkhardt, G. Joseph Gallinghouse, Patrick M. Hranitzky, Rodney P. Horton, Javier E. Sanchez, Luigi Di Biase, Dhanunjaya R. Lakkireddy, Andrea Natale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background Luminal esophageal temperature monitoring is performed with a variety of temperature probes, but little is known about the relationship between the structure of a given probe and its thermodynamic characteristics. Objective The purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference in thermodynamics between a 9Fr standard esophageal probe and an 18Fr esophageal stethoscope. Methods In the experimental setting, each probe was submerged in a constant temperature water bath maintained at 42°C; in the patient setting, we monitored the temperature with both probes at the same time. Results The time constant of the stethoscope was higher than that of the probe (33.5 vs 8.3 s). Compared to the probe, the mean temperature measured by the stethoscope at 10 seconds was significantly lower (22.5°C ± 0.4°C vs 33.5°C ± 0.3°C, P<.0001), whereas the time to reach the peak temperature was significantly longer (132.6 ± 5.9 s vs 38.8 ± 1.0 s, P<.0001). Even in the ablation cases we observed that when the esophageal probe reached a peak temperature of 39.6°C ± 0.3°C, the esophageal stethoscope still displayed a temperature of 37.3°C ± 0.2°C (a mean of 2.39°C ± 0.3°C lower, P<.0001), showing a <0.5°C increase in temperature half of the times. Conclusion The 18Fr esophageal stethoscope has a significantly slower time response compared to the 9Fr esophageal probe. In the clinical setting, this might result in a considerable underestimation of the luminal esophageal temperature with potentially fatal consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2200
Number of pages6
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Atrio-esophageal fistula
  • Esophageal luminal temperature monitoring
  • Esophagus
  • Temperature probe
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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