Using a realistic adult head and neck geometry and a thermal model, the transient temperature distribution is calculated during different cooling strategies and variations in cerebral blood flow. Given the importance of brain temperature in clinical therapy, temperature calculations using thermal models are necessary to optimize hypothermic therapies commonly employed for brain protection during surgery or in the treatment of brain injury. The calculations presented here show the effect of selective and whole body cooling strategies on the temperature gradients in the head; the time required to reach a stationary temperature distribution for the different cooling strategies; the importance of thermal stabilization when using deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, and the effect of selective head cooling in periods of lack of blood flow to control temperature gradients in the brain tissue produced by residual metabolic activity.

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